20 year content strategy veteran, Sharon Burton. Sharon Burton consults about content strategy, content business issues, social media and managing post-sales customer experience issues.

Consumer feelings about product documentation results are in

Consumer feelings about product documentation results are in

In the world of product development, there is the myth that product instructions don’t matter because “no one reads the documentation”.

In an opinion poll, run from April to June 2012, I decided to challenge that myth. I asked 18 questions about product instructions and how people feel about them. The results are very interesting.

People do read the product instructions. People want clear and helpful instructions with their products and it makes them upset and angry if they don’t get them.

The results are available in 2 versions:

  1. Free version contains the basic results. It does not include any discussion or respondent comments but you do get to see the results for each question.
  2. Paid version (US $5, available as an eBook on Amazon.com and bn.com) includes the results and a discussion for each question. You also see respondent comments for each question, where asked. Nearly every question allowed comments and people made them.

Discuss below! I’m interested in your thoughts.

[updated 7/11/12 with the BN.com link]
By Sharon Burton


  1. Mayur Polepalli

    Hey Sharon,

    The price on Amazon is 7 and not 5. The price on BN is 5. I would really like to get the Amazon version. Can you please check on the price.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Sharon Burton

      If you are purchasing at one of the international amazon sites, the $5us is converted to local currency. Perhaps that’s what you’re seeing?

      • Mayur Polepalli

        Hey…I do have an Amazon US account. Will check with the Amazon folks. Thanks!

  2. Robin Davidson

    You can also get the Nook reader and Kobo readers as well.

  3. Sharon Burton

    Yes, you can. I use the Kindle reader on my iPad and my iPhone.

  4. tim slager

    PS: thanks for the free version

  5. tim slager

    I think you can get a kindle reader for computer, ipad, smart phone, etc. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/pc/download). Seems like you can use your current distribution method…

  6. Sharon Burton

    Hmmm… How can I put the PDF on sale without having to manually manage each purchase? Thoughts?

  7. P.S. – By a PDF version, I am talking about the 5iver version. I would like to read all of it, not just a synopsis. Thanks.

    • Sharon Burton

      Keith, can you download the free Kindle Reader for your computer? All the options I see for sites that would host and manage the PDF sales would charge a LOT for that service.

  8. How about a PDF version for those of us who have no use for a kindle or nook?

  9. Sharon Burton

    Give me a bit and I’ll make a Nook version available. Maybe 2 days? I’ll post here when it’s available. I have client things to get done first.

  10. Kim Cramer

    Very interesting survey – thanks for doing this and sharing. I would be very, very happy to pay $5 for the full version. I went to Amazon to discover that it’s only available in a Kindle version. I don’t have a Kindle (I have a Nook). It would be great if I could purchase a PDF or generic e-reader file. Please let me know if this is possible. Thanks!

    • Sharon Burton

      The Nook version is available now. Check the link above.


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