Minimalism is the idea that less is more; that fewer “bells and whistles” is better; that good design leads to intuitive, natural, and instant use. How can you adopt minimalism in your documentation?
John Carroll, the leading proponent of minimalism in software design, introduced the idea of progressive information disclosure – the process of showing information based on what the user selected, rather than showing everything at once. Carroll insisted that a product should be so intuitive that people could instantly use it without having to read a single page of the documentation.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism in documentation is the idea that:
- you don’t need to document every single aspect of most products;
- users can play with the product and discover functions on their own;
- fewer words on a page (or screen) improves navigation (the ability to find content);
- writing in a simple, straight-forward language improves comprehension.
Minimalism is more than removing fluff. Fluff comes in many forms: unnecessary words (saying something in 20 words instead of 5), overly complex ...
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