A while back I watched a program that included IKEA’s philosophy when it comes to the assembly instructions that accompany its products. IKEA is well-known for its innovation, including product design and the shopping experience. Instructions are no different. What I found most interesting is that the company researches how people in different countries regard the process of putting together furniture.

Examples they gave included Germany and Italy. IKEA’s research showed that, by and large, Germans are independent and wouldn’t dream of asking others to help assemble furniture. On the other hand, Italians ask friends and family to help, often turning it into a bit of a party. As a result, IKEA’s instructions destined for products sold in Germany are based on a single person (maybe two) doing the job. The instructions that accompany products sold in Italy are geared toward several people working on the project together.