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Another Printing Disasters—and How to Avoid Them story…

Over the weekend I bought an Apple iPod Shuffle to use at my new writer’s desk. I could hardly wait to unwrap it and start using it!

Apple’s industrial design choices were smart and beautiful, as usual. The iPod came in a sweet little clear plastic cube, sealed with clear plastic tape with a subtle arrow that showed me how to unwrap it. Inside the box, the iPod sat on a little tray, beneath which were the earbuds, a USB cable, and a booklet labeled, “start here.”

Every customer action had been thought through, so taking the components out of the box was like unwrapping a specially wrapped gift. Lovely!

I did not love the instructions, though. They were extremely minimal and were set in tiny type. Nowhere in the booklet did it say, “For complete instructions, go to: support.apple.com/manuals/ipod.”

If I need a magnifying glass to read the instructions, they are too small!

Instead—on the very last page—it said, “For important safety and instructional content, see the user guide: support.apple.com/manuals/ipod.” Instructional content? What is that? As usability expert Steve Krug says, “Don’t make me think!”

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