The importance of reading documentation or screen messages !

Category: Advice, Informations

Small technological anecdotes

I take and complete a small article that I wrote quickly a few years ago on the need to read instructions on the screen or elsewhere. I pass a big hello in passing to those who will recognize themselves !

A lived experience

Madame I. has to play an audio CD to charming toddlers in an elementary school class. Someone has stolen his favorite radio-cassette player combo. Never mind, she goes in search of a new device, heroically slides the CD into the drive and…. a message informs him that the CD is Absent !!!

She takes it off, unplug, rebranche, find another player…. in short, big disaster. So, let's focus on the recalcitrant reader, and, by lifting the CD that had been inserted, here is what appears :


A small protective cardboard, with simple INSTRUCTIONS 🙂 !

Another case

Someone asks me how to delete a message that always appears on the screen when they start their computer. Of course, she doesn't know what program it comes from, why this message is coming …

I ask him to show me this. She brings her laptop, start it. Indeed, after starting Windows, a small window appears and gives an indication of an installed software. I still see the joy of the user who tells me “You see, I was right, it happens every time at startup”.

I then make him read the message and especially the last line with a checkbox, and saying : “Check this box so that this message no longer appears on startup”.

The moral

We see errors almost every day due to not reading messages. The worst excuse I am often given is : “oh yes but I'm not a computer scientist !” Messages are for everyone, not just for developers. I will add that it is the IT people who write these messages to help their users.

eh yes, as i often say, in this blog or during various tips : please, read the docs, read the messages on the screen and read the instructions ! This will avoid many problems, ranging from wasted time to viruses and commercial software !

The same goes to you who write a blog or articles on social networks, pay attention to what your audience will understand from your writing. Remember that people are overwhelmed by excessive posts and read you diagonally. Sometimes they even read only the title of the article.

I won't be surprised that only a small percentage of those who “likeront” this article have read it in full :). I will do a test : send me a nice email saying you read this article. In a few days three of you, randomly drawn, will receive So Web goodies !

See you soon


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