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Instructions Instructions

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 23 April 2013

Michael Rosen opens some flat-pack furniture to discover why instruction manuals are so hard to follow. Are they simply badly written or do they reveal something fundamental about how words capture movement. Beset by orphaned bolts and extraneous screws Michael plums for the latter and invites guests in to help explain the conundrum. He tracks down the company that has written the instructions to his bedside cabinet ;delving into their world he gets an insight to these experts who make a living from developing the 'perfect' instructions for us .But are words alone simply not suffice - are words and the language sometimes a problem if trying do make complex things ? Would we better off without words and have image alone - does that work ? And what about those who suffer from dyslexia how do they cope ? Whether you follow every word or simply loathe and chuck them away, instructions and manuals are a powerful influence on our lives and something most companies and organisations are starting to realise they need to get right .

Presenter : Michael Rosen
Producer : Perminder Khatkar.


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