Ig Nobel Prize winners ask who reads the f*****g manual?

Web Log: New paper reveals people only read user manuals 25% of the time

I have a confession: I enjoy reading user manuals. Everything from straightforward noise-cancelling headphones or fitness trackers to a Theremin that is now gathering dust (I can’t play it but I know all the settings). Apparently, I’m in the minority as the 2018 winners of the Ig Noble Prize for Literature have shown.

The Ig Nobel awards are a long-running alternative to the Nobel Prize, rewarding academics producing valid but quirky or downright bizarre research. This year’s winners had a paper titled “Life is Too Short to RTFM” or “Read the F***ing Manual”.

Manual hate

A large-scale study on user manuals found that people claim to read the manual and use all of the features of a given product only 25 per cent of the time.

Additionally, more educated people are less likely to read the manual and men claim to read them significantly more than women. But why the manual hate? Apparently, “reading of manuals appears to cause annoyance and negative emotional experiences” and the more features there are on a product, the less appealing people find it.