I just finished up a communication to the editors of McCalls Quilting magazine. The point of the communication was the lack of clarity in some of the articles that feature step-by-step instructions. The magazine, to its credit, rates the "how to" projects by their level of difficulty. One star is beginner, two star is intermediate, three star is.............I consider myself a solid intermediate. However, others may think otherwise. I like to read all the articles, but pay particular attention to the beginner and the intermediate articles. I have noticed that the writers and/or the editors are increasingly making great leaps between the steps, and leaving out information that is needed by the beginner and the intermediate quilter. Additionally there seems to be a lack of clarifying illustrations that would help the reader. I am sure that an advanced quilter does not need this level of detail, but the beginner and the intermediate level quilter may.
I shared with them a technique that may serve them well. With this technique the writer or the editor would have a person that is at least one level below the articles intended audience read the article, and underline anything that was confusing or they did not understand. Have that same person try to complete the step-by-step instructions precisely as they are written. This done, note where difficulty occurred and make clarifications.
Anyone else have trouble with step-by-step instructions?