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Case Studies as Minimalist Information

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2 Author(s)
John M. Carroll ; Coll. of Inf. Sci., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA ; Mary Beth Rosson

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

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 4 )