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mobIKEA: An Online Furniture Assembly

Instruction Manual
Md. Rezaul Raju1
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77004
mkraju@uh.edu1
Abstract The quality of furniture assembly instruction
manual can be ensured with 3D visualization of assemble
instruction. The mobile apps available online can be very
handy and leverage the usability. In this paper we propose
mobiIKEA, a framework for proactive assembly
instructions which aims to visualize 3D step-by-step
instructions. It overcomes the limitations of todays
printed and other mode of instruction manual. Based on
expertise levels and age group the system can suggest
according modules and most appropriate action at any
point in time. In an experimental case study with several
popular IKEA products, we show the feasibility of the
proposed approach. At the end important issues are
discussed and future directions are outlined. (Abstract)
1.

INTRODUCTION

In real practice Printed handbooks, instructions, and even


reference manuals all are rarely used. And when we have to
use them, we are not fully satisfied many cases. Moreover, the
assembly manuals that come with a set of instructions and
handbooks of which many are never unwrapped or even used.
Study shows that peoples nature, perception about traditional
manual, and even quality of instructions, appropriate module
selection provision are some underlying considerations which
should be addressed for better utility [1].
Taking all these improvement scope, our proposed framework
approaches to provide more effective assembly system to the
users in order to make instructions more dynamic and
adaptable to delivers just-in-time instructions during an
assembly task. Section 2 details the system design and
features, section 3 talks about experiment. The following
section will show some statistics applying our framework for
IKEA product users. Finally, section 5 discusses several
important aspects of the approach and summarizes some
future directions.
2. TOWARDS A BETTER USABILITY OF
ISNTRUCTIONS:
A
FRAMEWORK
FOR
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE
In this section we will take a look at system design approach.
The design implementation leads to a discussion of feature
enhancements.

2.1. SYSTEM DESIGN


mobIKEA is mobile apps for 3D visualization of assembly
instructions for IKEA products. The apps will be available
online for users. mobIKEA system design includes a easy user
interface with following,
auto barcode scan for product identification
user login/subscribe (optional)
input users expertise level/ age groups
tools introduction
display instruction module
feedback on experience and usability/ improvements
Reporting module
2.2. Features Enhancement
As stated above mobIKEA interface provides easy and
friendly interface to the users. User scans the desired product
code the systems process the view of tool knowledge and
available instructions modules. Users are prompt to input
his/her age group along with expertise level. Based on age and
expertise system will show the selection menu. Once desired
module is identified video launches for 3D visualization of
step-by-step instructions. System does have not only the
option of going back and forth in video length, but also live
help from online agents. Experts with very detail information
with necessary relevant info displays prepare the video
materials. Besides system has the provision to store user
experience feedback and improvement. mobIKEA is
maintained with version upgrade with users input stored in
system database.

3. EXPERIMENS
From section 2 we know mobIKEA interact with user
selection serve accordingly and it has daemon process to store
data. All these data are used for system usage analysis. For
experiment with our proposed system we have deployed a test
version online with limited users access. For this time we have
chosen volunteers from different age groups, and our
experiments have been done at IKEA lab. For near to fair
comparison we have done workshops on assemble furniture
following both traditional instruction manual and mobIKEA.

Each volunteer is done with 1st time assembly aims to


reflecting the reality.

No.%of%WRRANTY%CLAIM%
25"

Along with our experiment we have collected statistics of no.


of users access to our mobIKEA, expertise level mapping
with age, no. of live agent assistance, users requests for tools
knowledge, average no. of each module selections, user
experience, system rating, and improvement suggestions.

20"
15"
10"
5"
0"
9"'"15"

16"'"25"

26"'"40"

40+"

Users%age%Groups%

4. RESULTS and EVALUATION

warranty"claim"with"mobIKEA"

The statistics in this paper is not from real, it has been


formulated from dummy tests with theoretical concepts.
The data on assembly work with mobIKEA system is stored in
its data store. Reporting module in the system gives us several
aggregated results. In our volunteer workshop we are
continually taking users experience statistics based on user age
group. Figure-1 illustrates the effect of mobIKEA system on
different users for assembly execution time. As we believe
easier instructions manual not only directs to usability but also
enhance the lifetime of the products. Figure-2 show the
positive effect of using mobIKEA system where warranty
claim is significantly reduced, which directs overall business
impacts and customer satisfactions as well.

ASSEMBLE%TIME(sec)%
80"
60"
40"
20"
0"
.9")"15"

16")"25"

26")"40"

40+"

Users%Age%Groups%
assemble"3me"with"mobIKEA"(min)"

assemble"3me"with"other(min)"

Fig. 1: Assemble time for different aged user groups. Statistic


shows the positive usability of mobIKEA system

warranty"claim"with"other"

Fig. 2: No. Of warranty claims with mobIKEA vs. other


instruction manuals. No. Of claims count is less compared to
others and another dimension is its varied with users age.
From figure-1 we can see the assemble time needs for user. Its
shows people are experiencing better performance with
mobIKEA. Same trend is depicted in figure 2 in case of
warranty claims reduction for products assembled properly
with mobIKEA. Though both of the cases statistic varies with
users of different age groups for which we are dynamically
trying to adapt the system for more effective and adaptive
instructions for target users.
5. SUMMARY

and FUTURE WORK

Our proposed system mobIKEA aims to provide


comprehensive instruction guidance to the users. The system
is hosted online and it is accessible as mobile apps, this
ensures handy solutions. With user friendly and interactive
interface users are more engaged to take the benefit of
following instructions while do the furniture assemble. All the
experiment results show us the trend of positive user feedback
though their experience and system reports with mobIKEA.
Since the system data store capture all user activity log, these
data is very supportive for system enhancements. Data
analysis of using mobIKEA also directs to business cost
reduction and more customer satisfactions. Through public
access we can get more feedback and will adjust our system
accordingly.
REFERENCES:
[1]. Stavros Antifakos, Florian Michahelles, and Bernt Schiele (2002).
Proactive Instructions for Furniture Assembly. UbiComp 2002: Ubiquitous
Computing, Volume 2498 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp
351-360