Trying something new is always challenging and a bit nerve wrecking.
So it’s easy to rely on sources of information to help the process.
We are doing up our bathroom so needed adhesive to attach the tiles to the bathroom walls. After research, we decided to use adhesive powder rather than a pre-mixed adhesive.
To make the adhesive, it is a simple matter of mixing some of the powder with water. Of course, how much of each is somewhat important!
The packet included instructions for making the adhesive to the correct consistency. However, the instructions were to mix 20 kg with 6 litres of water.
Trying to convert those instructions into mixing usable quantities was difficult – giving a weight rather than volume of the powder was particularly difficult. Meaning our first attempt was too wet and wasn’t going to hold the tiles well enough.
We figured out a good consistency for the adhesive, eventually, and now have some lovely tiles stuck to our walls!
But learning from others’ mistakes, here are my tips for making instructions for useful:
What interesting experiences have you had with hard to understand instructions?
For instance, someone I know recently ended a project because his client gave him insufficient and contradictory information. This client had prepared a brief but work done to match that brief was rejected!
1. specify anything mandatory – e.g the logo must always be on a white background or the newsletter must be ready by the 1st of each month
2. explain your ideas – a rough sketch is ok as long as it is labelled
3. avoid jargon unless you are sure the supplier understands it the same way you do – that includes using their jargon if you aren’t sure of it yourself!
4. write or talk as if they are a customer – clearly, concisely and politely.
Have you had client projects where poor communications made the project a dreaded chore instead of challenging and interesting?