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3 Ways Litigation Graphics and IKEA Assembly Instructions Can Be Similar

Ken Lopez
By: Ken Lopez

Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Courtroom Presentations, Litigation Consulting, Demonstrative Evidence, Juries, Persuasive Graphics, Infographics

At some point in our lives, many of us, perhaps most of us, have assembled a piece of IKEA furniture. Whether it was for that first apartment, your vacation home, or your kid's dorm room, it's something of a right of passage. If you have done this assembly work with your significant other, it's often a test of the relationship too.

IKEA furniture is inexpensive, in part, because of the way it is shipped and packaged. It is unassembled, it fits into a small package, and the purchaser must assemble it.

The instructions that come with the products are notoriously complicated, although they are quite well designed. In recent years, IKEA has gone a step beyond the printed instructions of old. They now publish videos of how to assemble a product, and they are really quite good.

Hearing someone complain recently about having to follow the printed instructions got me thinking about juror communications and best practices when it comes to preparing litigation graphics. Of course, right? Here are three ways IKEA assembly instructions and litigation graphics can be similar:

Below is a static image of the assembly instructions for the IKEA Pax Wardrobe. Below those static instructions is an IKEA-produced video of the same instructions. Which one would you rather follow?


While I find the video version to be much easier to follow, I have to say that if it were me, I'd rather combine the video version plus the printed version. To me, that is a lot like an attorney who combines the spoken word with a presentation that enhances their message. Of course, we've written about this topic, and I think this article is one of the most important for trial attorneys to understand as they think about their trial presentation: 12 Ways to SUCCESSFULLY Combine Oral and Visual Presentations.

In recent years, the how-to video has become more popular than ever. Whether you want to make a souffle, repair your car, or diagnose and fix that error code on your dishwasher, there is very little that you can't find on YouTube now. Just as memorization of facts has become less necessary, trade skills and experience have become less important as well. After all, if our time is not better used elsewhere, all we have to do is Google the answer to a problem and end up looking like a hero when we complete the task. That's pretty compelling.

There are exceptions to this of course. Creativity and problem solving are tough to reproduce in a how-to video (or by a computer). That's part of the reason why trial lawyers won't be replaced by computers in the near future and litigation graphics consultants won't be replaced by trial lawyers any time soon either. Author Dan Pink discusses these heady topics at length in his breakthrough book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, which happened to discuss A2L and its work in the legal industry (then known as Animators at Law). See Daniel Pink, Conceptual Thinking and Trial Consulting.

So, as you think about preparing your trial presentation, do you want it to land on your audience like a significant other telling you how to think about something or do you want it to land with your jury like a thoughtfully prepared presentation designed to enhance understanding and clarity?

Other articles about juror communications, litigation graphics, and effective information design include:

PowerPoint Litigation Graphics Webinar Consultants

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