Guide Prep

PREREQUISITES

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

2. Battery

3. Volume Controls

3. Vibrator

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:

Click to enlarge image! Compare it to the iPhone 5 guides on our site.

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.

GUIDE PHOTOGRAPHY

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 nylon 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.