Common Student Mistakes

Here's a list of common mistakes that student groups often make at each point in the project.

Getting Started

  • Not reading Student Roadmap
    • All the information you need is in the detailed instructions on Student Roadmap. Really!
  • Trying to fix or repair the device
    • Do not fix, and do not worry about breaking your device! Most devices provided for this project do not turn on in the first place. Your guides should show someone with a broken device how to remove the faulty component for replacement. The device doesn't need to be in working order during (or after) the project.
  • Trying to find replacement parts
    • You're not responsible for sourcing replacement parts for your device.
  • Forgetting to include all info in emails
    • We work with a lot of students, so whenever you send us an email, please include your full team tag, links to any work you'd like reviewed, and a brief message.

Troubleshooting Page

  • Understanding the Troubleshooting page
    • The goal of the troubleshooting page can be confusing. Each header should be a specific symptom that users might observe with their device. Under that are possible causes of this symptom, followed by a solution to each symptom.
  • Incorrect troubleshooting page title
    • When you create your troubleshooting page, you'll be prompted to create a page title. It is important for page titles to be written correctly the first time around so that an accurate URL is created. We try to keep page titles consistent across the site, so the titles for your pages should follow this format: [Device Name] Troubleshooting. If you create your troubleshooting page and realize you made a typo in the title resulting in an incorrect URL, don't worry! Just follow the directions here.
      • Example: Lenovo Essential G560 Troubleshooting.
  • Not providing enough information on the Troubleshooting page
    • The troubleshooting page is a user's first line of defense. It is very important that your troubleshooting page be robust and descriptive. Each topic doesn't have to be long, but be sure to include enough information to help the user identify and fix their problem. If you're not sure if your troubleshooting page is descriptive enough, ask a friend to read it over to see if they would know what to do if they had a problem.
  • Not linking to guides in the Troubleshooting page
    • Link to your guides in any relevant place in the troubleshooting page. Don't forget to work your links into sentences and format them as clickable words/phrases; you don't want to leave a long URL floating in the text.
  • Additional information about this milestone can be found at:

Device Page

  • Incorrect device page title
    • When you create your device page, you'll be prompted to create a page title. It is important for page titles to be written correctly the first time around so that an accurate URL is created. The device page title should include the full name of your device without any extra information or generic terms like tablet, phone, or laptop. Don't forget, the word "Repair" will auto-populate on the device page title after you've created the page. We try to keep page titles consistent across the site, so the titles for your pages should follow this format: [Device Name]. If you create your device page and realize you made a typo in the title resulting in an incorrect URL, don't worry! Just follow the directions here.
  • Not taking a 4:3 device picture
    • Device pictures must be cropped to a 4:3 aspect ratio, just like guide images

Guides

  • Forgetting to add introductions in guides
    • Every guide needs an introduction. When you first create a guide, you can add an introduction by clicking the "Show More" button. You can add an introduction at any time by editing your guide and clicking the "Introduction" tab.
  • Referring to a spudger and plastic opening tools as anything other than such
    • The black one is a spudger. The blue one is a plastic opening tool. Period.
  • Not adding screw information to every screw
    • All screws should be measured with a caliper. Label the length (in mm), head type (such as Phillips) and head size (such as #0) for all screws.
  • Making wacky custom guide titles that aren't "Replacement" guides
    • Nearly all guides should have the auto-generated title of "[Device] [Part] Replacement". For example, an appropriate guide title would be, "iPhone 5 Logic Board Replacement."
  • Creating "teardown" or "repair" guides instead of replacement guides
    • Your guides should focus on replacing your device's components, rather than on general disassembly or repairing individual parts. Replacing a component is often the best option for getting a device back into service—especially where repairing the component would be impractical, as is the case in many modern devices with circuit boards that require specialized (and costly) equipment to repair. Check out our Student FAQ for help with understanding the different types of guides.
  • Disconnecting ZIF connectors incorrectly
    • Cables—particularly small, flat ones—are often held in place by ZIF connectors. This type of connector has a small tab that needs to be pried up or out with a spudger before the cable can be safely removed.
  • Using a flat-head screwdriver as a pry tool
    • Don't tell people to do stuff that can damage their device! All prying should be done with a plastic opening tool or spudger. These tools are safe to use on casing plastics, and the spudger is ESD-safe, preventing risk of shock to you and the device.
  • Using metal spudgers instead of a regular spudger
    • Metal spudgers are great for when the standard spudger just isn't enough. However, these spudgers are not ESD-safe, so only use them as a last resort.
spud-vs-m-spud.jpg
  • Bullet colors not matching markups
    • When using markup, be sure to make the corresponding text bullet the same color as the markup.
matching-markup3.jpg
  • Unnecessarily adding the words “Note” and “Caution” at the beginning of Note and Caution bullets
    • The special bullets already imply that it is a note or cautionary statement.
  • Not using articles
    • "A", "an", and "the" are words too! Don't forget to write complete sentences using articles and proper grammar in your guides.
  • Adding reassembly steps
    • All guides automatically have the conclusion "To reassemble your device follow these steps in reverse order," therefore you don't need to provide reassembly steps. For special reassembly instructions, use a reminder bullet on the applicable step.
  • Referring to the motherboard in a non-Apple device as a logic board
    • "Logic board" is an Apple term; unless you are working on an Apple device, the correct term is "motherboard."
  • Battery guide is not used as a prerequisite when it should be
    • Don't forget to add all guides as prerequisites that must be done before performing a replacement.
  • Additional information about this milestone can be found at:

Finishing Up

  • Forgetting to link repair guides back to troubleshooting page
    • All guides that are mentioned in the troubleshooting page should also be included on that page as a link.
  • Additional information about this milestone can be found at: