Re: What exactly is minimalist documentation?

Subject: Re: What exactly is minimalist documentation?
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 11:46:55 -0600

In my organization, we use the term "minimalist" to refer to
documentation that is just what it takes to answer a specific set of
user needs, and no more. Minimalist documentation does not describe
every feature of the product, nor does it cover every task. We cover
what we believe our users need, and check our assumptions in the
usability lab. We also provide the comprehensive documentation online,
for those who need all the picky details.

We have replaced fat "User's Guides" with thin "Getting Results" guides,
and received compliments from our users. Not a lot of compliments,
because, hey - it's just the manual - they don't notice all that much.
But more compliments than I expected and fewer complaints. And it
appears that the thin books get read more often than the fat ones did.

The thin books are much more challenging to write, and more rewarding.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Maia Peru [SMTP:mperusek -at- FORD -dot- COM]
>I have a vague sense of what minimalist documentation probably is, but I need
>be able to define it by this evening. Can anyone help me out here? Does
>do this kind of documentation? What is its advantage? Thanks!!

If it's about technical communication--post it! If not, don't!
Posts: mailto:techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
Commands: mailto:listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g. SIGNOFF TECHWR-L)
Archives:,, or
Subjects: JOB:, QUESTION:, SUMMARY:, ANNOUNCE:, or none of these.

Previous by Author: Re: chapter numbering
Next by Author: Re: Career changer vs. entry level
Previous by Thread: Re: What exactly is minimalist documentation?
Next by Thread: Re: What exactly is minimalist documentation?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads