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How to Write an Instruction Manual

Engineer Mark Miodownik explores the history of product guides. Just what is their future? With John Haynes. From August 2009.

Engineer Mark Miodownik presents an instruction manual on how to write an instruction manual, exploring the history and the future of product guides and how they chart our changing relationship with technology.

He looks at how product guides have changed over the centuries, from the very first examples, written by James Watt on his new 'copying' machine, to the latest Ikea pictograms.

In the first half of the 20th century, manuals not only described how to use your television, but also how to fix it. Now, the first few pages of any TV manual contain stern health and safety warnings about the dangers of tinkering inside the TV.

Mark travels to Yeovil to visit Mr Haynes, of Haynes car and motorcycle manuals, to ask whether people still need a manual to fix their vehicle. As our products get more sophisticated, is the instruction manual becoming extinct?

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 17 Jan 2018 01:30

Broadcasts

  • Fri 21 Aug 2009 11:00
  • Mon 11 May 2015 06:30
  • Mon 11 May 2015 13:30
  • Mon 11 May 2015 20:30
  • Tue 12 May 2015 01:30
  • Tue 16 Jan 2018 06:30
  • Tue 16 Jan 2018 13:30
  • Tue 16 Jan 2018 20:30
  • Wed 17 Jan 2018 01:30