use prerequisites to save time
In most devices, you'll want to remove the battery early in the repair process. Instead of having to repeatedly explain how to remove the battery at the beginning of every guide, you can write the battery replacement guide once, and then select the battery guide as a prerequisite in future guides. After adding the prerequisite, your battery replacement steps will show up automatically at the beginning of your new guide, and you can add further steps from there.
The battery is just one example; any number of guides can be used as prerequisites.
Effective use of prerequisites can be a huge time saver, but there are potential pitfalls. You can only use prerequisites for portions of the disassembly that are sequential. For example, suppose we’re writing guides for the iPhone 5. After investigating the design of the device, we've concluded that the components can be removed in the following order:
1. Front Panel Assembly
3. Volume Controls
3. Logic Board Assembly
Notice that the volume controls, vibrator, and logic board assembly all share the same number. This means that once you've removed the first two components, you can choose to remove any of the next three. The volume controls guide is not a prerequisite for the vibrator, because you don’t have to remove the volume controls to take out the vibrator.
This can get tricky to keep track of in your head, so drawing a tree diagram showing the order components are removed from your device may be helpful:
You can see that before you even get to the volume controls, you must go through the same steps that are found in the battery guide. The battery and front panel assembly guides are both prerequisites for the iPhone 5 Volume Controls guide.
We’ll go over how to import a prerequisite guide a little later.
In some cases, you may decide to write a guide that is only used as a prerequisite for other guides, and doesn’t make sense as a guide on its own. For instance, you might take something out of your device that isn't a single component, but rather a cluster of smaller components, such as a display assembly or motherboard assembly. Prerequisite-only guides are incredibly important to proper guide flow, but having them show up with your other guides could confuse readers. That's why these particular guides will not actually be viewable on the device page by anyone except your team and site admins—the only place they’ll show up is within other guides that use them as prerequisites.
Again, let’s look at the iPhone 5 as an example. Both the iPhone 5 Lightning connector and logic board guides use a "logic board assembly" guide as a prerequisite, but that doesn't show up in the guide list on the iPhone 5 device page. This is to keep users from getting mixed up because there is a "logic board assembly" guide, as well as a "logic board" guide. The logic board assembly includes a number of key components, but by itself isn't of much use to someone trying to fix their iPhone.
If you need to create a prerequisite-only guide, simply type “Prerequisite Only” in your guide’s Introduction or Summary area (see Guide Creation), and email us a request along with a link to the guide. We’ll be happy to flag it appropriately.
Disassemble your device, and take some notes. Decide which components you will create guides for. It’s very helpful to sketch out a prerequisite map, as this will save you time later.
Don't use metal prying tools in your guides except as a last resort. The spudger and plastic opening tools included in your toolkit are ESD-safe and are less likely to cause cosmetic damage. Only instruct your readers to use a metal spudger when safer tools aren't up to the task. Never use a screwdriver to pry open your device.
Take some awesome photos. Use the guide below to start taking great-looking pictures to document each step in your procedure.