As technical writers, we notice a lot of things that other people do not. I tend to notice too much because I’m a little too detail-oriented for my own good. But this can help improve whatever product, service, etc. I am documenting.
Today, while driving to work, I noticed a small moving truck in front of me with a sign on the back. It said something similar to “Make sure to push the ramp in SLOWLY” (notice the all caps). Probably a great sign that someone took a lot of time to make and attach to the truck – but definitely in the wrong place.
I don’t know anything about truck ramps or even the correct terminology, but I can tell that if the ramp was out of the truck there is no way you could see the sign because it was directly below the ramp – see the elaborate Paint drawing below.
So after the truck driver quickly pushes the ramp into the bottom of the truck and it falls off (or smushes the kittens or elves living in the hole), only then does the driver see the sign and it’s already way too late.
These are the types of things I notice. It’s important for directions to be clear, in the right place, and in the right order – otherwise you never know what’s going to happen.