Step Content


Illustration and Point of View


The user needs each step to convey information explaining the required assembly task.


How much and what type of information should be included in each step of the instructions?


  • The number of steps in an instruction sequence has an impact on the overall length of the instructions.
  • Too few steps can result in too much information per step making the PAIs confusing.
  • Too many steps with each step having small amounts of information can be tedious to use and also results in long documents which can be intimidating, and expensive to produce.


Each step must describe a complete, conceptually coherent assembly operation. For example, a step to add screws can include a large number of screws if the action for the screws is similar in all instances. However, an action to add screws and add another major component may result in too much information or may portray actions that are not logically or conceptually linked.

Two or more simple assembly operations can be depicted in the same step as long as they do not interfere with each other, or need to be performed in a particular sequence.


Drawn from practice and inspection of existing artifacts.

Related Patterns:



Images sequences offer before and after images of assembly operations. Each step needs to have enough information so the before and after images can be meaningfully compared.

Action Type

Some actions involve more than putting parts together and require more detailed description of the required action, for example the need to hammer parts together.


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IKEA - Billy Bookshelf

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