Action and Point of View


The user needs to know what to do for each step of the assembly process and requires feedback on the state of the assembly.


How to describe what to do for each step in the assembly sequence and provide information that the task has been completed properly.


  • At the completion of each assembly task the user benefits from feedback enabling them to evaluate if the task was successfully completed. This provides them with confidence they have successfully interpreted the instructions and carried out the tasks.


Adjacent must be treated in the following way.

The state of the assembly from the previous instruction is depicted.

New parts are shown in space separated from the main assembly and are connected with lines to their point of assembly. The view shows where the parts attach to the main assembly. This is the ‘Action’ stage. The lines used to indicate the path of the object should be clearly distinguishable from the lines depicting the object.

The next image in the sequence is a ‘State’ stage showing the appearance of the assembly with the new components added. This allows the user to compare the before and after images to check if their assembly visually matches the after (state) image.

When possible action state images should be located adjacent to each other, avoiding having to turn pages between complicated action state sequences to make it easier for users to compare images.


Szlichcinski, (1984)

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Related Patterns:



It is important the user understands the image sequence so they can identify the action/state pairs.

Step Content

There is a limit to how much content can be included in an action/state pair and be easily understood by users.

Stable Point of View

The comparison of action/state pairs is easier is there is a stable point of view is maintained between steps.

Action Type

Some actions may require the inclusion of tools or information about a particular motion for assembly.


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