Eric Cressey

Tech writer - Content strategist - Developer

Symantec Website Security developer portal

One of my first projects at Symantec was the developer portal for Symantec’s website security APIs. Symantec Website Security Developer Portal

  • Role: UX content writer
  • Timeframe December 2014 to August 2015
  • Methods and skills: UI content writing, research, user interviews, usability tests, prototyping, web development
  • Tools: Axure, Oracle UCM, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP


I analyzed competitor and other API portal offerings and came up with a list of recommended features for the developer portal. The API portal needed:

  • Clear onboarding information
  • Plenty of code samples
  • Simple, intuitive navigation

This research helped shape my content strategy for delivering developer documentation.


I worked with a UX designer to create mockups for the API portal. I performed audience and task analysis to make sure each piece of content was framed with the user and their goals in mind.

I answer these questions for each user flow I work on:

  1. Who is the audience? I leverage user personas and other research to be as specific as possible about the audience.
  2. What is their goal? Customers use your product to accomplish a task. Sometimes parts of that task happen outside of the product. Knowing where they user has been and where they’re going is critical to writing effective content that helps the user accomplish their bigger goals.
  3. What’s their motivation? Why are customers using this feature? Understanding and empathizing with customer motivations helps ensure content strikes the right tone.
  4. What do users need to know? Content shouldn’t get in the way. I surface the essential information and provide ways for users to get more information if they want to.

API portal wireframe

User feedback

Getting user feedback is a critical part of my process. I conducted hallway tests and usability studies on prototype portals to validate our design. In addition, I worked with UX researchers to create and distribute a survey to measure API user satisfaction before and after the portal launched.

API portal survey results

UI review

During implementation, I performed UI reviews and worked with the development team to ensure that the implementation was correct.

API portal landing page

Web development

Letting developers test API calls without setting up their environment is a big win. So, when a product manager approached me about building an interactive API testing site for the API portal, I jumped at the opportunity. The simple site uses JavaScript and PHP to submit API requests and display responses.

API testing site