The minimalist design model holds that computer users learn more efficiently and use products more successfully by working more with the system and less with the documentation. Developed by Dr. John Carroll, the minimalist model is the subject of many recent papers in the fields of human factors and documentation. The principles of minimalist design can be applied to complex technical documentation as well as to introductory training materials. Minimalist design focuses on:
- Slashing the verbiage by omitting expository text
- Creating modules or chunks that can be used in any order
- Expecting user errors and providing recovery tips
Concentrating on the user's own tasks, professional communicators attending this workshop analyze how to shorten documentation and training materials while increasing their effectiveness. Recent research on minimalism and techniques for applying minimalist design to online documentation and Help systems are presented.