Chinese Developers’ Information Behaviors When Using Technical Documentation

Zhijun Gao, Keyu Ming, Jingsong Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


This paper was presented at the Invited Panel session “Technical Communication in China”. Technical documentation quality is an essential part of product help center quality. As user information behavior gains increasing attention in user-interface design, for help centers, understanding user's information behavior of documentation provides insights to better develop product resources. To improve help center quality, we focus on typical technical documentation users-developers and their information behavior. We used combined sociological approaches and conducted a two-phase user research: an in-depth interview was first performed to gain basic idea of developers' documentation acquiring and using habits; then, a questionnaire survey was conducted to validate former result and further explore the factors influence those behaviors. This paper present how developers need, acquire and use technical documentations, and discussed the related factors. According to the result, we found that developers have preference in documentation acquiring methods, besides, quickly locating target information is their common way to start using a documentation. Furthermore, gender and user documentation dependency both have impact on their information behaviors and documentation using experience. In conclusion, developers' information behaviors of technical documentation have patterns, and these patterns should be carefully considered in help centers' future development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-5563-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-5564-7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
EventIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2020 - Online via conference platform, Kennesaw, United States
Duration: 20 Jul 202021 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm)
ISSN (Print)2158-091X
ISSN (Electronic)2158-1002


ConferenceIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2020
Abbreviated titleProComm 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Developer
  • Help center
  • Technical documentation
  • User study
  • n/a OA procedure


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