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Keep the structure flat

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Keep the structure of user manuals and help files as flat as possible. Avoid complex hierarchies that have sections, subsections, subsubsections, subsubsubsections, and so on. If you have a heading titled “4.3.5.6.7 What to avoid,” something is seriously wrong.

As a rule of thumb, avoid having more than 3 levels. It can be challenging to find a structure that’s both flat and clear, but it is possible in more than 90% of all documents.

If your audience has a low educational level, keep the structure especially flat.

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Writing: Keep it simple and stupid

Designing: Use clear and simple design

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