Instructions for use
Master thesis


Didactic Design, Instructional Design, Instructional Writing, UX Design & Prototyping, Analysis & Science Communication, Scientific Paper Writing, Workshops & Lecture, Exhibition Design

Instructions – the problem

Instructions are rarely given attention, read or used in everyday life – whether on the plane as safety information, as an instruction for use for building a shelf or as a leaflet in a medicament package. Instructions seem to lose importance in everyday life.


Why instructions?

Instructions present visual and textual information in a specific didactic context for supporting learning processes and guiding users to solve very different tasks in everyday life. Instructions affect a user’s action right away, so as an instruction designer one must have the ability to anticipate and calculate potential risks based on human interpretation abilities and causing actions and consequences. If an instruction does not work, it may cause life-threatening situations in the worst case scenario. For me as a designer, the enormous responsibility and influence of instruction design is very fascinating and challenging.



Despite knowing that there is a number of incomprehensible and misleading instructions, only very few designers deal with the topic on an empirical level in Germany. Instruction Design is a very small, underrepresented niche – but it is needed in everyday life and also in almost every job industry though. While everything is claimed to be "very intuitive", there a lot of situations in daily life where instructional guidance is needed.


Instructions and Design as research

In my master thesis I deal with the empirical study and development of different analog and digital instruction types and test them for perception, comprehensibility, user-friendliness and design. I am also interested in the immersion in various aspects of clinical psychology, people’s visual perception and interpretation skills, theories about task solving, decision making, theories about space and environmental affects on human behavior and perception (proxemics) as well as the study of typical human behavior and thinking patterns.


Current work

Currently I do research in the field of team dynamics and how solving tasks alone or in groups affects the didactic approach on designing instructions. Besides that I develop specific instructions for testing them in an empirical environment soon.

Instruction prototype and analysis: Assembly process and used elements

Visal analysis of the assembly´s results: Procedure scheme

Input presentation of workshop Instructions in daily life on 8.12.2016. I presented some psychological input about calculating risks in relation to using instructions.

A N J A   R A U E N B U S C H

Didactic Design & Project Management



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