Instruction Manuals

When I began working at ICON, I was primarily the writer for the bench and systems manuals. Because the department was short an illustrator, I soon began creating the illustrations for these manuals as well.

The featured manuals are two of the more complicated manuals that I wrote in 2007. The GGBE8057 is a large Smith machine that contains 58 assembly steps. The Carbon is a large weight system that contains five separate weight stations sold individually. Therefore, I had to create the drawings, write the text, and layout all five separate manuals within a month.

I began each manual by communicating with subject matter experts including the engineers and factory contacts in China. The engineer gave me the path to a model from Solid Works, a 3D drawing program. I used this model to create an exploded drawing (see the second to last page of the manuals) and line art (see the drawing on the front cover). Using Freehand, I cleaned up the drawings, added connecting lines, and labeled the parts. After ensuring that the information for the exploded drawing and part list was correct from the factory, I created the assembly drawings in Freehand. I used Quark to layout the manual and write the text.

Once I completed a manual, I would hand it over to an editor who would carefully check it for accuracy and grammar errors. When I received confirmation that everything was correct, I would place the manual in the factories print folder on the FTP server and inform the international group that the manual was ready to be translated. A couple of weeks later, I would use Adobe professional to rearrange the manual in a way that it could be printed from a home computer. This would then be uploaded to ICON's customer service website.

In addition to writing assembly instructions, I have written instructions sets for software programs. This particular piece is an instruction set for Microsoft MovieMaker that I co-wrote with three other students.