TCUK17 Keynote Speaker Michael Meng – “Optimizing API documentation: What we can learn from developers”


Michael Meng will give his keynote presentation on “Optimizing API documentation: What we can learn from developers”.

Michael Meng

The talk will outline the main findings from some empirical studies we have done to better understand the information needs of API developers, their expectations regarding content and structure and some criteria they apply to assess documentation quality. I will then propose a set of heuristics and principles that we have derived from these findings, and that we hope can provide evidence-based guidelines for technical writers working on API documentation. Examples showing how the heuristics can be implemented will be drawn from a prototype that we are currently working on.

This work has been co-authored with Stephanie Steinhardt.

Michael Meng will also be giving a presentation on “Effects of visual signalling in screenshots: an eye tracking study”.

About Michael Meng

Michael studied German linguistics and psycholinguistics at the University of Jena (Germany) and the University of Edinburgh. After completing his PhD on syntactic processing during reading in 1998, he worked as a technical writer and later on as department manager of documentation and localization for an international software company. In 2012, Michael was appointed Professor of Applied Linguistics at Merseburg University of Applied Science, where he now teaches courses on text analysis, text production, research methods and cognitive psychology in the B. Eng. and M. A. programs in Technical Communication. He is member of tekom Germany and presents regularly at conferences such as the European Academic Colloquium on Technical Communication, Write the Docs or the annual tcworld/tekom conference.