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
- Help users get started fast.
- Train users on real tasks.
Allow for reading in any order by providing modular units of
- 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
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.
'Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as nothing ever happened.'
- Winston Churchill (1874-1965)