Shell Voicings 

One of my guitar teachers (Randall Dollahon) had a simple set of rules about "shell voicings" (or, as he called them, three-note-voicings): 

Chord consists of R, 3, and 7 only (this goes for any 7th chord: maj7, min7, dom7, half dim, m/maj7, dim7. For maj or min 6th, just replace the 7th with the 6th). 
Root on either 5th or 6th string 
3rd and 7th on two middle strings 

From there, of course, you can add upper extensions on the top two strings, but you can get much mileage out of the simple three-note-voicings by themselves.  These stripped-down voicings will sound idiomatic to the jazz style even without the colorful extensions, whereas the big voicings (such as typical barre chord versions of dominant seven or minor seven chords) with one or more octave doublings can tend to sound out of place in jazz.

I don't think this set of rules should be taken as law, just a practical starting point. These rules do outline a good point about "jazz" type chord voicings; there are three different basic areas: 

the bass note 
the essential quality defining notes (3rd and 7th, and maybe 5th on something like a fully or half diminished) 
the upper extensions or "color tones" (the spice or the "icing on the cake") 

Generally speaking, it works well to keep the bass note in the low register (low strings), the "essential notes" in the middle (middle strings), and the color tones in the higher register, but once again, this is certainly not a hard and fast rule by any means.

For a more in-depth tutorial on building and using shell voicings, see my free YouTube lesson. If you want to delve into shell voicings in even more detail, check out part 2 of my Jazz Guitar Harmony series from Mike's Master Classes.