I created the API reference, developer’s guides, code samples, and an interactive testing site for the Symantec Encryption Everywhere REST API.
- Role: UX Designer, UX content writer, Developer
- Timeframe December 2015 to March 2017
- Methods and skills: Technical writing, research, mind mapping, heuristic evaluation, information architecture, code sample writing, API testing, analytics, prototyping, web development
- Tools: Vasont, XMetal, C#, Python, PHP, Java, SoapUI
During the API design phase, I worked with the engineering team to evaluate the API design. In my review, I used usability heuristics to help me evaluate the design. In particular, I focused on:
- Naming. Usable APIs have names that make sense and match user expectations.
- Error handling. How were we handling errors? Did default values making it easy to use the API correctly?
- Consistency. A subset of our existing API users would use this API. I made sure the new API structure was consistent with what our users expected.
Great content is worthless if it is poorly organized. Creating a mind map lets me see areas of the documentation that need more structure and makes it easy for me to move ideas and topics to their logical places.
Code samples are a critical part of the developer experience. No one likes to start from scratch, so it’s important that the API documentation have samples that developers can drop into their environment and run without much hassle. For this project, I focused on the high-value samples that I knew our audience needed and then created samples that demonstrated other API uses.
Throughout the process, I gathered feedback from users who had already signed on to use the API. This frequent customer input helped me identify doc issues early and make sure that customer use cases were properly covered in tutorials and code samples.
After we released the API, I used feedback from web analytics, teammates, and customers to make sure the documentation continued to provide an excellent developer experience.