Do This, Not This




Some actions may have alternate means or actions that may damage the assembly or prevent its from being completed successfully. Also the user may assume an incorrect assembly action based on precedent or previous experience. Parts may look very similar from different views, that may result in incorrect assembly.


How to warn users there is an incorrect way to carry out an assembly task that is to be avoided.


  • Some objects may look very similar from different views that may result in misinterpretation of illustrations.
  • If some assembly operations carried out incorrectly there will be a significant impact on the success of the final assembly. Thus the user needs fair warning that if the step is incorrect the final assembly will not perform properly.


The correct assembly must be indicated, and adjacent to this the alternate incorrect assembly must be shown with an indication this is incorrect. To indicate the incorrect assembly a cross or strike through can be used; this should cross over the illustration without obscuring it so the details of the illustration are still discernable.

Note: Associating a cross with an image to indicate it is incorrect is a culturally specific communication technique and thus may be misinterpreted in some cultures.


Gombrich, (1990)

Haaland & Fussell, (1976)

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Related Patterns:



The tightening of joints presents a similar problem of alternate means of conducting the same task in this case the degree of tightening.

Absence of Details

Objects that appear to be similar from different views may require this to clarify the correct location of the assembly operations.


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IKEA -  Komplement Jewelry Box

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