Thursday, October 6, 2016

How Effective Are Your Product Illustrations in Conveying a Message of Safe Operation?

These photos show an area of this product that should not be touched.  In the black and white photo, you cannot clearly see the directional arrow or the "X" indicating the danger area?  You can see the red "X" and the red arrow in the color photo to the right, but that doesn't help when the Operator Manual is printed in black and white.  Furthermore, from our viewpoint, you should never show someone physically touching the prohibited area.

bad product photobad product photo

Make sure the illustrations you use in your Operator Manual are clearly defined, whether printed in black and white or in color, as shown in the following illustrations.  As stated above you should not show the action being described, such as "do not touch" the hot surface.  Even though the international "Do Not" symbol is shown, it is possible that not everyone will understand.  For legal purposes, it is better to show the operator's hand at a safe distance along with the "Do Not" message and symbol.
good black and white product illustrationgood color product illustration

Initially you may save money using the photos supplied by the exporter, but these photos do not provide a clear understanding of the prohibited action.  Using quality illustrations, however, will make a clear statement of the prohibited action. 

Ultimately you need to compare the cost savings of using photos with an unclear meaning to that of your attorney defending you in a personal injury lawsuit.  Our recommendation is to invest in the one-time cost of creating a clear and concise Operator Manual and not multiple times defending ongoing lawsuits over the lifespan of the product.