RE: Examples of Minimalist Writing

Subject: RE: Examples of Minimalist Writing
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Janoff, Steve" <Steve -dot- Janoff2 -at- Teradata -dot- com>, "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>, "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 16:41:54 -0400

Janoff, Steve said a bunch of stuff, including:
[snip]

> One thing I meant to mention in the discussion on screen shots -- the
> "less is more" idea particularly applies to online help,
> since the idea
> is that you have the application open, and the exact screen
> visible (in
> the configuration you're trying to apply), when you consult
> the help, so
> you don't need to reproduce the screen that the user is
> looking at right
> now UNLESS you really have to show something completely non-intuitive,
> let's say.


On the other hand, if Help (to you ... ok, to me ... and to your/my customers) means standalone WebHelp, rather than context-sensitive Help, then maybe a completely obvious and blatant screencap is just the thing to orient the user who just came looking via:

- the Help ToC
- the Help Index
- the Help' search function

... a kind of "you are here... or at least, you should be if you've found the correct topic for your need."


I once wrote a longer sentence than that. It, too, hurt to read.

- Kevin ( who still does WebHelp without the context-sensitive aspect )


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Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Examples of Minimalist Writing: From: Janoff, Steve
Re: Examples of Minimalist Writing: From: Chris Morton
RE: Examples of Minimalist Writing: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Examples of Minimalist Writing: From: Leonard C. Porrello
RE: Examples of Minimalist Writing: From: Janoff, Steve

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