Brent Schenkler points us to these great one page introductions to Web 2.0 stuff by Tim Davies. The idea is very reminiscent of John Carroll’s minimalist instruction approach: a brief concept about and why, steps to get started, and some tips. With good visual support. I’ve seen worse professional job aids!
The point is to give people the minimum guidance needed to get going. Carroll found that focusing on people’s goals, on the minimal instruction, and clear presentation trumped formal instructional design. I think too often we don’t give enough credit to our learners. These are good models for other new tools you’re introducing to folks too.
Brent says he guesses it didn’t take any ISD knowledge, but I’d say it took either a good knowledge of information mapping, ISD, applied cognitive science, or some way of matching how our brains work to the task at hand. It may be implicit, but there’s a repeated template that suggests some forethought. Check ‘em out!