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Peter Schmidt


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Journal #5
| Black & Decker Toast -R-Oven Manual | 
Journal #6
| MOH Frontline  Guide Booklet | 

Black & Decker Toast-R-Oven Classic™


(Full Document)



The document is intended to be read in full before the user uses their Toast-R-Oven™ for the first time. The document is meant to inform the owner of the Toast-R-Oven™ about all the potential safety hazards, as well as, how to use the appliance to achieve the best results.

After reading the document for the first time, it is to be filed away and stored for future reference. Thus, for example, when it comes time to clean the Toast-R-Oven™, the user can reference how to do so and perform the activity without damaging himself or the Toast-R-Oven™.


The target audience of the document is North American (the document is printed in English, Spanish and French) people who have purchased/own a Black & Decker Toast-R-Oven Classic™. The document assumes the user has the appropriate facilities to use the Toast-R-Oven™ (polarized electrical outlet) and maintain it (access to hot sudsy water for cleaning).

The document also assumes the user is of competent age and has the need to use a Toast-R-Oven™ – why else the user have opened the packaging and gained access to the document.


In most cases, the document will be used in the kitchen – that is where the Toast-R-Oven™ will be used/stored so it is logical to assume that is where it will be opened.  Since the document is intended to be read before operating the appliance, this location is the most likely place for the document to be read.

As well, the document is quite large when completely unfolded, but is easily managed for reading when spread on a flat surface like a countertop or kitchen table.


The document is printed entirely in a Sans-Serif typeface which promotes the document as an authority – if you follow these instructions you will be safe and experience years of premium cooking/baking results.

However, there are lengthy instructional and warning paragraphs that the Sans-Serif face does not support, namely linear processing. This is overcome by numerical lists and bold-square-bullet-points that indicate individual pieces of information, allowing for easier scanning of the document – the user scans a paragraph until he sees a key word in the bulleted paragraph and decides whether or not the information is necessary to read or if he can skip on to the next point. The segmenting of information is aided by the Gestalt Principal of Proximity – the extra white space between bulleted paragraphs signals to the user that each bullet point signifies a single instruction or warning.


There are three diagrams in the document. The use of diagrams is effective because they give a detailed depiction of the Toast-R-Oven™, and combined with the Sans-Serif typeface, creates a synergy for an authoritative tone in the document.

The black figure on a white ground creates little noise so the user is not distracted while assessing the individual components of the Toast-R-Oven™.

However, the diagram depicting the Toast-R-Oven™ and its components creates far too much noise because it uses all three languages (English, Spanish and French) in its description/identification. This could have been avoided by placing a diagram of the Toast-R-Oven™ at the top of each language section which would have created symmetry with the Cooking/Baking Guide table at the bottom of the column – two boxed pieces of information sandwiching written text.


Once completely unfolded, the “interior” (side without the ‘cover’ of the folded version) is well laid-out. Each language has its own separate page, allowing the user to find the section in their language and disregard the others. However there is a significant amount of white space that could be eliminated by starting each individual segment with its own diagram.

The layout of the Cooking/Baking Guide at the bottom of each section is well spaced and organized making it easy to read and assimilate information.

However, the exterior portion of the document is poorly laid out, with information in each language appearing in two separate locations. The English version of the safety instructions are the first thing the user sees when he unfolds the document. However, the safety instructions are separate from the warranty section. The user, who is accustomed to having all the English portions of the document grouped together, may miss the warranty section and waste time trying to locate this portion of the document. Any frustration the user experiences will be directed towards the company, diminishing their ethos.

The reason for putting the warranty on the last page – “out of sight” – is the company’s way of saying, “You won’t have any problems, but if you do, here is what you do.” However, this attempt to build ethos is severely undermined by the possibility of creating any level of frustration the user may experience while using the document.


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