Some good documentation

I complain so often about confusing or unclear documentation that I feel like I ought to occasionally praise particularly good documentation.

Two items from last week in that regard:

  • As I previously mentioned, the documentation at the Airbnb that I stayed at was great. Clear and brief, and placed in exactly the right places to be useful.

    One example of that: I arrived in the middle of the night, so I was apprehensive about possibly going to the wrong house or something. But the instructions for how to enter explicitly mentioned red steps, and the house in question did indeed have red steps. So I went up the steps and there was an Airbnb label on the front door, making even clearer that I was in the right place. I entered (by using the electronic-lock code that the instructions had provided), and then when I closed the front door, I saw that there were labels on the inside of it making clear that I shouldn’t manually turn the lock. Then I looked around for the stairs to go up (to get to the Airbnb unit), and the stairs were right there, and iIrc there was another friendly little label saying something like “go up these stairs!”

    So from the moment I arrived, I felt taken care of, by people who wanted me to have a good experience and were making it easier for me to do so. Really nice—reassuring and comfortable and comforting.

  • Entirely unrelated: I recently acquired the new third edition of the urban-insurrection boardgame Bloc by Bloc. When I sat down to read the game’s rules last week, I was surprised over and over again by how good they were. Clear, and well-organized, and no spelling or grammar or punctuation problems that I noticed, and well laid out; and each of the few times I was uncertain about something, there was a very easy-to-understand example nearby that clarified whatever I had been uncertain about. Also, there were several useful cross-references, where the rules mentioned something and then said to see such-and-such other page for more information about that thing.

All very pleasing.

(Facebook version of this post.)

Join the Conversation