In terms of products, the Canon PowerShot A590IS digital camera and the Porter-Cable Pancake Air Compressor are about as different as possible. Their owner’s manuals, on the other hand, have a lot of similarities. They both include many of the major components such as Title Page, Maintenance Guidelines, Step by Step Instructions, Troubleshooting page, and Warranty Information. Although the air compressor owner’s manual is more focused on the product’s potential hazards with warnings right up front, the digital camera owner’s manual also includes a short section on safety issues. This sort of information is necessary for any owner’s manual.
Due to its technical nature, the digital camera owner’s manual is much longer. It provides a wealth of features, and each feature requires a section of the manual. In contrast, the air compressor manual is much lighter weight. The air compressor only has a few features. It doesn’t have a Table of Contents and really doesn’t need one. The digital camera owner’s manual, on the other hand, is over 200 pages long and would be useless without one.
The most effective component of both owner’s manuals is the diagrams. Since neither of these devices is aimed at experienced professionals, it’s important to help the user visualize what they are doing. In the case of the air compressor, this means showing the user where the safety features are located. The digital camera owner’s manual has a myriad of menus that must be navigated by the user. In both cases, detailed diagrams ensure the user is able to understand the process and operate the device correctly.
Canon. (2008). Canon PowerShot A590 IS Camera User Guide. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
Porter-Cable. (2005). Pancake Compressor Instruction Manual. Retrieved August 8, 2008.