Don’t say ‘it will take five minutes’

It’s commonplace to emphasize that your product will let users achieve their goal in next to no time:

“Follow one of our quickstart guides to get started in minutes.” - Firebase quickstart

“Be up & running with Pusher in 3 minutes” - Pusher tutorials

“Learn how to build an Android Chat App in 10 minutes” - Pusher tutorials

“Deploy a serverless microservice With Lambda, API Gateway in ~2 minutes” - AWS console

There are two possible reactions to this:

Other guides are more honest:

“You can go through the whole tutorial in a couple of hours or you may want to spend a pleasant day really digging into it.” - AngularJS tutorial

“25 min read” - Nix by Example post on Medium

I believe this approach is more successful. Consider our characters again:

What causes the unrealistic push to lower time estimates?

Tagged #technical-writing, #communication, #product-management, #psychology, #estimates.

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