Instructional Design · Project Management · Quality Assurance

Quality assurance, shmality assurance! Who needs it!

The value of quality assurance is often underestimated.  I hate to even admit the number of times I have had to explain to higher-ups why it should never be the place to “save time and money.” While it is temping to settle for “good enough” and sacrifice the time-intensive process that can be quality assurance, it is absolutely not the place to cut corners.

Even if a client is comfortable cutting this corner I would advocate finding other ways to meet time and budget goals. Why? Because the end-user should always be the primary consideration.

Have you ever fallen “victim” to poor quality assurance?

Here is the most recent example that I have encountered:

My husband recently got a quad-copter and this is a segment of the instructions for its operation.

If you have read my previous posts, you know that I give my husband a hard time about not reading instructions (because an instructional designer – I hope – worked hard on them).

When he was telling me he was trying to figure out how to operate [read: fly] the thing and I said (as usual) “I bet that thing came with instructions.” He was dead on when he replied “they are impossible to understand.” At the time I rolled my eyes and said sarcastically “oh, right, impossible I’m sure.”

On a side note, at least he read – well, attempted to read – the instructions.

Needless to say, these instructions needed quality assurance in a major way and, as a consumer and end-user, I was disappointed and frustrated. But, on the bright side, I recognize job security when I see it!

I challenge you to read the run-on sentence in one breath. Can you make sense of it? Can anyone read the Chinese version? What does it say?

A simple quality assurance for this instruction guide would have ensured that they were free of errors and, perhaps most importantly, made sense to the end-user.

Here’s to hoping he doesn’t break the copter because the instructions aren’t helping him figure out how operate it…

Your turn! Tell me a story about a time that you noticed quality assurance was lacking as an end-user or consumer.


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