Re: Minimalist Document Design

Subject: Re: Minimalist Document Design
From: Shannon Ford <shannon -at- UNIFACE -dot- NL>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1993 17:28:31 +0100

From Janie Bergen:

> This type of design [minimalist documentation design]seems to go against
> all the principles I was taught. Do many of you technical writers
> use this design? Can anyone cite some examples that I might look
> at?

The only examples/research I've seen were in John Carroll's Book, _The
Nurnberg Funnel, Designing Minimalist Instruction for Practical Computer Skill_,
ISBN 0-262-03163-9, 1990 MIT Press. The method intrigued me, so now I'm trying
to put some of the principles into practice in a tutorial and a training course
I'm working on (starting, actually).

It does go against what I was taught in technical writing classes, but not
what I've read about learning and human motivation, and certainly not against
what I've experienced as a user of tutorials and documentation.

Anyway, that's my motivation for trying it, and I expect to do some testing
to see if it works or not.

Like Janie, I would also be interested in hearing any first-hand accounts from
people who have tried writing this way.

Shannon Ford
fords -at- uniface -dot- nl

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