Providing less is good. Providing pertinent information in the proper context is better

The more content you have, the more time is consumed finding (and then reading) the right information.

Bar bones is the strategy we use. It’s tempting as a product owner or writer to be exhaustive, even over exhaustive.

This can turn out to be counter-productive. There can always be a level of context at which you exceed the needs of your standard users and thus inadventently and inversly provoke frustration.

What is pertinent information?

It’s a detail-oriented documentation topic clearly outlining the objectives of a procedure, they way to use various parts of the software, and the obstacles to avoid. If this is done with concision the pertinence can at least be easily tested. The first stage of providing less and more pertinent is accomplished.

The corollary pertinent information is added on. This includes concepts, glossary terms, general procedures, how-tos and faqs.

This is a second step in adding content. However tempting it is, avoid jumping from streamlined concised in-situ contextual help to an encyclopedic corpus whose volume will drown your user.

Reading should be incremental and progress by degree of need and level of complexity.