Don’t forget the content

Although this course has focused heavily on tools, I want to emphasize that content always trumps tooling. The content should be your primary focus, not the tools you use to publish the content.

Once you get the tooling infrastructure in place, it should mostly take a back seat to the daily tasks of content development.

Dave's Bike Tools, Bri Pettis, Flickr

I’ve changed my doc platforms numerous times, and rarely does anyone seem to care or notice. As long as it “looks decent,” most project managers and users will focus on the content much more than the design. In some ways, the design should be invisible and unobtrusive, not foregrounding the focus on the content. In other words, the user shouldn’t be distracted by the tooling.

For the most part, users and reviewers won’t even notice all the effort behind the tools. Even when you’ve managed to single source content, loop through a custom collection, incorporate language switchers to jump from platform to platform – the feedback you’ll get is, “This sentence is incorrect.” Or, “There’s a typo here.”

Summary

During this course, we explored the following:

  • Using a REST API as a developer
  • Documenting a new API endpoint
  • Documenting non-reference sections
  • Exploring other REST APIs
  • Publishing API docs
  • Design patterns

You learned new tools and technologies, ways to publish and create interactive experiences for your audience. Now as you go forward into API documentation, hopefully you have a solid foundation to start.

The remaining sections contain miscellaneous topics related to API documentation.


Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscriber count: 3,725