Milestone 3: Overview

In Milestone 3, you will create guides showing how to replace the major components of your device.

Checklist

You are finished with your guide images when they:

  • Are well-lit and correctly exposed
  • Are shot in landscape orientation
  • Show a person's hands performing the actions being described without obstructing the view
  • Place the action in the center of the frame
  • Are zoomed in far enough to see relevant detail
  • Are in focus—not blurry or grainy
  • Have correct white balance without a colored tint
  • Have a clean, white background free of distracting clutter

You are finished with your guide text when it:

  • Is easy to understand and follow for an audience with an average to below-average technical background
  • Is clear and concise—free of verbose and muddled directions
  • Avoids vague language
  • Describes the procedure with adequate detail
  • Correctly identifies the device components and tools being used
  • Is free of major errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Includes the head types (e.g. Phillips #0) and screw lengths (in mm) of every screw
  • Follows the standard format for titles ([Device Component] Replacement) for the guides

You are finished with your guide mechanics when they:

  • Correctly use prerequisite guides to create an easy-to-follow "chain" of replacement guides
  • Have a brief summary on each guide
  • Include a descriptive introduction outlining why the procedure is necessary, background on the procedure, and other relevant information
  • Include all parts of the Details section, such as the difficulty, time required, and tools
  • Properly include colored markup in guide photos with appropriate bullets colored to match them
  • Make proper use of the Note, Reminder, and Caution bullets

Email Us When...

...your first guide is complete. We'll be happy to review your guide, answer questions, and provide feedback to help with the rest of your guides.

Overview

In this milestone, you will create separate guides for the replacement of each major component of your device. (Remember, you are not responsible for creating a teardown or for repairing broken components.) Since reassembly is usually just the reverse of disassembly, you should not write reassembly steps. The final step in each guide will show the removal of the component being replaced. By default, each guide automatically concludes: “To reassemble your device, follow these steps in reverse order.”

Each completed guide should contain the following:

  • A title and brief (1-2 sentence) summary
  • A descriptive introduction
  • Estimated difficulty and time required
  • A list of any required tools
  • Step-by-step instructions written in clear, complete sentences
  • An accompanying photo or photos to demonstrate each step
  • Visual markup, when appropriate, highlighting key areas of the photos, matched to color-coded bullets in the text (See guidelines here.

Keep in mind that your final guides will have a global audience, so you shouldn’t rely on the text alone to communicate key information. Ideally, your readers should be able to complete the guide using only the photos, or only the text. Both the written and visual portions of your guides should work together, yet be able to stand on their own.

WHICH GUIDES SHOULD YOU WRITE?

The number of possible guides you could create will vary depending on the complexity of the device. For example, the iPod Nano 3rd Generation has only four guides for the entire device, while the iPhone 5 has more than 20. To come up with a list of possible guides, first determine the major components within your device.

For example, a typical laptop might contain the following major components:

  • Battery
  • RAM
  • Keyboard
  • Hard Drive
  • Optical Drive
  • Motherboard
  • Heat Sink
  • Fan
  • Speakers
  • Display

When choosing which of these guides to write, try to determine which components are most likely to fail or require an upgrade. You can find a list of suggested guides for common devices in the Student FAQ.

Remember to only take on guides that you’ll be able to finish! It's far more useful to have five finished guides than ten half-finished guides.

Example Pages

The following examples from past projects give a good idea of what your completed guides should look like.

To see more awesome student work, check out our Featured Student Guides page.