The Results Are In

To: Sandy Brown Jensen; WR 227 Classmates

From: Caitlynn Hawks

Date: April 24, 2016

Subject: User Test Report

Clear instructions help guide the audience to a desired result. Photo: http://sunshineandsippycups.com/2011/11/baby-instructions-for-new-moms-humor/

Clear instructions help guide the audience to a desired result.
Photo: http://sunshineandsippycups.com/2011/11/baby-instructions-for-new-moms-humor/

INTRODUCTION:

My topic for the instructional post was how to fold a fitted sheet.  I wanted to target anyone who had ever had trouble storing a fitted sheet.  Based on my personal knowledge, I believed that getting a fitted sheet to lay flat for storage was something that eluded a lot of people.  This memo is to review the results of the testing my classmates preformed against my instructions.

OBJECTIVE:

I wanted my instructions to be clear and articulate.  I wanted to make sure something that could seem daunting was presented in an accessible and uncomplicated manner.  The benefit of utilizing my classmates to test the instructions, is that my test subjects where from several different types of target audiences.  There was a step in my instructions that, while they were able to complete, each person mentioned struggling a bit with.  Knowing my test audience was so varied, helps bring validity to their observation.  I am confident that this step will create issues for a very large audience, versus just a subset.  This is turn helps me prioritize where I should focus my energy when it comes to revision.

METHOD:

My first draft was a very good foundation to revise.  The actual wording of the instructions I revised very little.  I reworded step 8, in hopes of achieving more clarity. Erin had a good tip about letting the reader know they can fold up and sideways, as well as the way I displayed in the pictures, so I added a note about that.  My main focus was formatting and adding the superstructure requirements.  I wanted to make sure that my post was visually engaging, so as to catch the eye and draw people in.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

“I had a bit of trouble with step 8, but I kept doing it, off camera, and I got it.” – Meredith Blair

My testers where Meredith Blair, Genevieve (Genna)  Baccaro, and Erin Wood.  I believe that they represented a good range of target audiences.  They seem pretty evenly spaced in age ranges, which I think is important.  If I could pick one more type of audience to have, I would say it would have been nice to have a male perspective.  My test location was just a flat surface within the home.  Everyone seemed to be able to do it no problem without having to seek out an outside location.

While I didn’t so any direct information gathering, like asking questions, I did attempt to engage and get them thinking with my introduction paragraph.  I wanted them to be reminiscing about the difficulty of dealing with fitted sheets, which I had experienced myself.

I am happy to report that the user’s that testing my instructions all seemed to do so successfully, and found them useful, which was my main goal.  The did all seem to have an issue with step 8 with is how to hold the sheet before laying it down for the final folding.  They all also noticed that I had forgot to apply all of the superstructure of the post.  Which I greatly appreciated.  I was so focused on getting the table structure of my instructions correct I completely forgot about the other assignment requirements.  To that end, I went through and added the missing heading and sections of my post, so as to be more in tune with the guidelines.

CONCLUSION:

I learned that I can’t always predict what is going to be difficult for other people to understand.  The step I was most concerned about people having issue with, didn’t seem to be a problem at all.  I think that next time I write instructions, I will have other people read them besides myself. It is sometimes hard to think critically about something you wrote yourself.  It is also important to try and think of alternative ways to explain things, as the way that makes sense to you, doesn’t always compute to other people.

I how feel the overall experience went. Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/486388828476973335/

How I feel the overall experience went.
Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/486388828476973335/

Folding the Fitted

The usual storage method for fitted sheets. Image: http://mylittleme.com/how-to-fail-at-pinterest/

The usual storage method for fitted sheets.
Image: http://mylittleme.com/how-to-fail-at-pinterest/

Growing up, while we did have household chores, there where also a lot of household things that just “magically” happened.  For instance, when my sheets were dirty, all I had to do was walk to the closet and grab a clean, neatly folded set from the shelf.  Once I was solely responsible for organizing my backstock of clean sheets, I discovered what an obstacle keeping them in those immaculate rows entailed.  I had a particularly exasperating relationship with the fitted sheet especially. I would carefully and gently fold it in as close to a shape and not blob as I could get it.  Throwing a hope into the universe that when I picked it up for transport that it wouldn’t immediately dissolved into a bunchy mess of pure mockery.  One day however,  I met someone who had conquered the fitted sheet, and who was willing to pass their knowledge along.  I now would like to do my part in sharing the sacred knowledge of how to fold a fitted sheet for proper storage. Below I’ve included instructions, with pictures, to help aide in your beating of that pesky fitted sheet.

TROUBLESHOOTING:

  • In order for the second folded corners to naturally form, when you first turn the sheet inside out, the bottom corners should actually be inverted, and facing the correct way.
  • If the sheet seems to get twisted, take a breath, and start again.  It is a delicate balance, and much like a knot, sometimes trying to pull just a tiny piece makes things worse.
  • Step Four is VERY IMPORTANT.  If you don’t switch hands, the oppositely folded corners will be twisted the wrong direction from each other.
  • A fitted sheet will NEVER lay perfectly flat.  What makes it the superior gripping sheet in the bed, makes it the inferior sheet for folding perfectly.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Should you have any questions or issues while trying to complete this task, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  The best way is by email, hawkscorp@gmail.com.  I can either arrange to meet you in person or do a personal skype video training session.