For the Minimalist User Manual Project, groups in ENGL 420E and 420 (Business Writing for Entrepreneurs and Business Writing, created user manuals for Web-based startups that have little time or money to spend creating user documentation. By developing these user manuals, students learned how to consider the end-user while employing strategies that enable startups to quickly and efficiently offer minimalist user documentation.
For this project, groups of 3 or 4 members selected a client from a list of existing Web-based apps and created two different kinds of quickly produced user-focused documentation for them. This documentation was based on principles of minimalist user documentation, though adapted for each client, as the groups saw fit. Each group focused upon the client’s documentation requirements and the kinds of resources most appropriate to each Web app’s function.
Groups created one type of documentation from each list:
A: Minimalist Video Styles
Embedded Video (see:http://wave.google.com/help/wave/drwave.html)
Papercraft/Whiteboard Video (see: http://www.commoncraft.com/world-wide-web)
Screencast Video (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DYb56xxnh4, among thousands of others)
B: Minimalist Crowdsourcing Styles
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page
Some student examples:
A former student’s work for his employer: