Case studies as minimalist information

John M. Carroll, Mary Beth Rosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Case studies are evocative narrative descriptions of a specific, real-world activity, event, or problem. Case-based learning is well established in professional education (e.g., law, business, medicine) and rapidly expanding in many other disciplines. We use cases as an instructional resource in our own teaching of usability engineering. In this paper, we analyze the proposition that cases can be a minimalist-information design technique - that is, as a design technique that (1) orients information to facilitate user action, (2) anchors information in activity, (3) prevents, mitigates, and leverages error, and (4) develops user autonomy. We discuss the next steps in a research program on case-based learning and speculate on other applications of cases as minimalist information design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-310
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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