For every babywearing product you need an instruction manual – even for a carrier which is so easy to use as our new manduca Duo (available in the stores as of now). The manuals of our manduca baby slings and carriers are always an important issue to us. They are, of course, mandatory for babywearing products, but this is not the only reason why we pay a lot of attention to them. In fact, we want to make sure that you are using our manduca baby carriers, slings, and also the new Duo correctly so that babywearing is always safe and as comfortable as possible for you and your baby.
manduca Duo – new as of August 2017
The manduca Duo is our latest babywearing product, a combination of baby sling and baby carrier, first presented at the Kind+Jugend 2016, the international leading trade fair for baby and toddler products. And although the production of the Duo had not even started back in march this year, the preparations such as for the instruction manual were already running at full speed at that time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say.
Illustrations: focussing key features
Just as we did for the manduca baby carrier and the manduca Sling, we have designed the manuals for the manduca Duo as a step-by-step manual, with each important move or handgrip depicted in an illustration. Why do we prefer illustrations, you may ask? Compared to photos, illustrations have the advantage that key features can be highlighted. And at the same time, less important details can recede into the background (such as the hair style of the model ).
Team photo session -> preparing the Duo instructions
In a first step, we took pictures and filmed each other while using the new Duo. By asking questions such as „Which are the single steps? Which position is optimal? Which movements are important and which actions are necessary?“, a first script, a guideline was created. This script was meant to be the basis of the images that the graphic designer would use to draw illustrations from. As these illustrations can only be as good as their basis, these photos were meant to show perfectly all details we had in mind. This is why we scheduled a shooting with our professional product photographer in Frankfurt.
Photo shoot in Frankfurt – I am the Duo model!
For this professional photo shooting I went to Frankfurt in February. Because … I am the model for manduca’s instruction manuals :-). You might recognize me in the instructions of the manduca Sling and the manduca baby carrier. My hair has grown longer by now, but I am sure the illustrator will give me a nice haircut so that the Duo instruction will have the same style and appearance as the other instructions.
This is how I came to Frankfurt to the photo studio which I remembered very well from my previous visits for the other instructions. And I also remembered how stressful such a photo shooting can be. This is because just looking good and putting on a smile for the camera is not really important for our project. What matters most, and what takes a lot of time, is assuming the perfect position. When a picture is taken, it will be instantly controlled if it matches exactly the image in our guideline. Which means that as long as there is no approval from the photographer and my boss, I am not allowed to move and change my position. Looks almost like doing Yoga, while it is at least as demanding and exhausting. Sometimes, following a long discussion, I was told to make a tiny move or turn my hand just a little bit in order to make the photo better. Quite often after such a lengthy procedure, I had to shake my limbs and stretch.
For perfect photos which show the important details, a little cheating is necessary sometimes: with the help of matches, cords, or pins. These little helpers do not appear in the illustration but help to improve the pictures.
Of course such a shooting is fun, too, especially when testing different positions. All in all, a day in a photo studio is both stressful and funny. However, I like being the instructions model, even though nobody knows the real face in the illustrations. Looking at the final layout of the instruction manual, I am always very happy with the result.
What about you – how do you like the instructions of the Duo? If we have done it right, it should be really easy for you to use the manduca Duo. Mere child’s play, as they say.