Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 8 Feb 1994 to 9 Feb 1994

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 8 Feb 1994 to 9 Feb 1994
From: David Farkas <farkas -at- U -dot- WASHINGTON -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 1994 16:48:01 -0800

There was a request for bibliographic references concerning minimalist
documentation. I can help with this.

The originator of the concept of minimalist documentation and the most
active theorist and researcher in this area is John Carroll, of IBM's
Watson Research Center. Carroll has written a great deal of material on
many aspects of human-computer interaction. I do not believe minimalism
is his current focus.

Carroll's book, The Nurnberg Funnel (MIT Press, 1990), is a very complete
survey of minimalist theory and research. It also includes a lengthy

I am a co-author of a lengthy review of The Nurnberg Funnel. The review
takes a largely negative position regarding minimalism. Later I wrote an
article on Balloon Help, and claimed that Balloon Help is the most
successful form of minimalist documentation.

The references appear below. (I hope no one minds if I cite my own

D. K. Farkas and T. R. Williams, "John Carroll's Nurnberg Funnel and
Minimalist Documentation," IEEE Transactions in Professional
Communication,33 (4) December 1990.

The Role of Balloon Help, Journal of Computer Documentation, 17 (2) May

Dave Farkas
Dept. of Technical Communication
University of Washington

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