Target of minimalism: the right information, in the right place and at the right time.
Minimalism as a checklist:
- Reduce passive voice.
- Be concise.
- Write task-oriented procedures.
- Say it once.
Nine principles that provide guidelines for developing minimalist-based documentation:
- Help users get started fast.
- Train users on real tasks.
- Allow for reading in any order by providing modular units of information.
- Exploit the user’s prior knowledge and experience.
- Coordinate the system they are trying to learn with the actual training material.
- Support error recognition and recovery.
- Use the situation to provide opportunities to learn about how the system works.
- Be developed using optimal training designs.
- Promote reasoning and improvising that increases comprehension, retention, and active involvement in the learning process.
- Emphasize experimentation rather than exhaustive task-oriented step-by-step procedures or system-oriented descriptions of interface objects.
- Encourage exploration and minimize the time-spent reading.
- Point out potential problems and suggest ways to avoid them.
- Provide more instructionally supportive information where necessary to assist in user learning.