Written by: Dan Weise
In the past decade or so, there’s been a trend towards putting a Quick Start Guide in the product box, probably in response to some bureaucratic requirement for a piece of paper in an era when manuals, references and user guides are generally pdfs on-line or on CD.
I’m the guy who reads that documentation, so I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Most Quick Starts are so scant, they offer very limited value. But, I’ve just read one that rates fabulous in a world of paper documents that rarely warrant anything but a yawn.
What a delightful surprise to open up a Precision Digital PD 6000 process indicator box and find their new Quick Start Guide. A quick flip through the 12 pages revealed it was exactly what I believe a Quick Start should be (and what most aren’t).
The front page tells you what the menu buttons do, the 2nd page shows the wiring terminal connections, and then there are 10 pages of step-by-step how-to’s for 11 common configuration tasks, with display graphics for each step:
One typically expects a manual to be thick and dense, and to have all the details for each of the hundreds of parameters that proliferate in the instrument world. But most of the time, that level of detail isn’t necessary. Instead, what’s needed is step-by-step instructions to accomplish the basic setup tasks. And that’s exactly what PD provides.
It’s OK that they forgot the 4 pages of silly, dire warnings about not using a product while in the bathtub, because what they do have is a concise summary of how to set the meter up.
My coworkers hear me curse the manuals for not having the right information, and they know how I loathe to hear or read, much less use, the term “user friendly”. But now I break my own mold, and officially designate the PD Quick Start Guide “user friendly” and give it a thumbs up!
Learn more about the Precision Digital ProVu PD6000 Enhanced Function Process Indicator.
Questions? Call (800) 953-7626
Lesman Instrument Company is the authorized Precision Digital distributor in North and Central Illinois, Northern Indiana, Eastern Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Dan Weise, Lesman product specialist, is an instructor for training classes on process instrumentation hardware, software, and technology.
Dan has been involved in all facets of data acquisition and process instrumentation since 1978, from sales and commissioning to service and support. He’s a long-time member of ISA, and has been with Lesman since 1988.
In his words, Dan’s the guy “who reads all the manuals nobody else reads”. In Lesman customers’ words, he’s the trainer to call if you want to “cut to the SO WHAT of instrumentation”, so it’s easy to understand.