Now that SSDs are so cheap, it makes sense to replace the HD that comes with the Mac Mini with a SSD.
The drive exchange went well. The iFixit instructions were very accurate and helpful.
I read elsewhere that the power cable or the socket for the fan can be damaged fairly easily when the fan is detached from the logic board. I unscrewed the fan from its base but I did not detach the power cable.
The iFixit instructions warn against pushing the logic board more than three-eighths of an inch when making space to remove the HD. Despite my best efforts, I believe that I pushed it further than this and I may have damaged the IR sensor. If I were to attempt this job again, I would try to not move the logic board before removing the HD.