Once you receive a device (or choose your own), the next step is to send us a proposal as a PDF. Submitting a proposal and getting approval from the iFixit technical writers is a required step, so pay close attention to the requirements listed below.
A proposal outlines what your project will look like from start to finish. We have a sample proposal to help you get an idea of what yours should look like—just bear in mind that every instructor has slightly different specifications, so make sure to cover all the required points for your class. You are more than welcome to use the sample proposal as a reference, but the content must be written in your own words.
Important things to include in your proposal:
The device you will be working on
It's important to get the device name exactly correct, which can be tricky because some devices have crazy names like the SuperSonic Matrix Mid SC-999. (Try saying that five times fast!) If your device was provided by iFixit, use the full name listed on the white iFixit label affixed to the device. Devices can have multiple labels, so be sure you are looking at the one with the correct name. To find the correct label, look at the pictures below. If you've decided to use your own device, take the time to research the full device name. Your best bet will be to search the manufacturer's product page. If you're still unsure of your device's correct name, ask us!
Repair information already on the internet about your device
Are there disassembly instructions available? If so, how good are they, and how are yours going to be better?
Proposed page titles
When you create your troubleshooting page and device page on the iFixit site, you'll be prompted to create page titles. 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:
Troubleshooting Page: [Device Name] Troubleshooting
Example: Lenovo Essential G560 Troubleshooting
Device Page: [Device Name]
Example: Lenovo Essential G560
Please note: The word "Repair" will auto-populate on the device page title after you've created the page.
The specific topics you will address on your troubleshooting page
Choose at least 5 of the most common symptoms that users may notice with their malfunctioning device. Be sure all topics are phrased as user-observed symptoms. Examples might include topics like "Device Won't Power On," "Audio Is Distorted," "Screen Is Unresponsive," etc. When phrasing your topics, think about what a user may see, hear, or experience with each symptom. This helps readers quickly find the section that corresponds to their issue, without having to already know the underlying cause.
The specific guides you will write for your device
Each guide should show how to replace a specific component of your device (battery, display, motherboard, etc.). To help keep the greatest possible number of devices out of landfills, choose the components that are most likely to fail, break, or require an upgrade.
Do not create a Teardown, Disassembly, or Technique guide.
You are not responsible for repairing a broken device or broken components. You are simply demonstrating how to replace the components.
Most student groups write guides for 5-7 components, but the number varies. Check with your instructor for the required number.
If you’re not sure which guides to write, check out the Student FAQ for some ideas. Later, you may run into new parts to write guides for, or discover that a guide you had planned to do isn't possible, and that’s okay—just email us to make sure your proposed changes are suitable.
The intended audience for your project
Audience analysis is an important part of technical writing. Take a look at iFixit.com and get familiar with the demographics of the users on the site—the Answers forum is a good place to start. Remember, the overall goal of the project is to help as many people as possible repair their things so that they don’t get thrown away. In order to best help someone, you need to know who you’re talking to. Take a look at our mission. Who are we trying to help? How will this inform your project?
The camera you will be using
Any digital camera of 6 megapixels or greater that can mount to a tripod is acceptable. Please note, this rules out most smartphones.
Please include a header at the top of your proposal in this format:
Device: Samsung Galaxy S5
Team tag: CPSU-DOE-F18S4G7
Camera: Nancy's 16.1 MP Canon PowerShot SX700
Group email addresses: email@example.com, etc. (These must be the same email addresses that you and your team members used to create your iFixit accounts.)
Don't forget: include your team tag in the subject line of your email, CC your teammates and instructor, and include a brief message in the email's body to provide context for your proposal. Keep in mind, it can take up to two business days for the iFixit tech writers to respond to your email.
Everything is not awesome!
You’ll get stuck in your project and have to redo your proposal if you haven’t closely followed the instructions. Take a moment to review the Getting Started page and make sure that you’ve met all of the requirements. Everything is cool when you’ve reviewed things as a team. Email us at techwriting[at]ifixit[dot]com when you’ve got your proposal ready to go. We’ll stop playing with our LEGOs and let you know what you need to do to move on to Milestone 1.