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Rails Conf 2013 How to Write Documentation for People That Don't Read

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Published on May 22, 2013

By Kevin Burke

Usability researchers have known for years that people browsing the Internet
don't read things word by word - they scan pages for the content they want. Yet
many API's and documentation resources are written as though users are reading
every word. If busy users can't find what they are looking for, you'll have
more support tickets (an expense), or more frustration (lost revenue).
Writing effective documentation requires knowing who your users are and how
they are finding answers to their questions. In this presentation, we'll
examine practical techniques to make your documentation work for busy users.
Looking at examples and user testing from our experience at Twilio, attendees will learn:
- how users find (or fail to find) your documentation
- how users view and get started (or fail to get started) with your product
- how to take advantage of underused documentation tools like your error messages, your API, and SEO.

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