The Minimal Manual

John M. Carroll, Penny L. Smith-Kerker, James R. Ford, Sandra A. Mazur-Rimetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


The Minimal Manual was designed to address difficulties people have with state-of-the-art self-instruction manuals in learning to use powerful computing devices. It is briefer; it helps learners to coordinate their attention between the system and the manual; it specifically trains error recognition and recovery; it better supports reference use after training. In two experiments, the Minimal Manual was shown to afford more efficient learning progress than an otherwise comparable, commercially developed self-instruction manual, and was superior in the specific areas predicted by its design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-153
Number of pages31
JournalHuman—Computer Interaction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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