In 2004, Peter Morville created a diagram with the main elements that make up a great user experience. This diagram is known as User Experience Honeycomb.
In the case of APIs, the main Users are Developers. The User Experience of APIs is essentially Dev Experience.
Only if the Dev Experience and the usage value of your API are better than other alternatives, will developers decide to use your API.
To enhance the user experience – in the case of your API, the devs – the User Experience Honeycomb diagram has 7 pillars to work on.
7 Pillars of UX (User Experience Honeycomb – Peter Morville)
Does your API satisfy any real needs?
If your API doesn’t solve a clear need for Devs, is there purpose in creating it?
Is your API easy to use?
The learning curve of the use of your API should be as painless as possible, following good practices and standards, with complete documentation, code and SDK examples, sandbox, use cases, support and automation of repetitive tasks.
Are your API and its features easy to find?
Devs need to discover that your API exists and easily find everything they need (support, documentation, etc) with a structure that makes sense to them.
Those who should be accessing your API and its features are able to?
Are the API and its features available? Is support provided? And can people with disabilities access what they need? The people who should be accessing it – do they have access permissions?
Is your API credible?
A developer is unlikely to build an app based on an API that is not accessible, whose support team does not always respond, with outdated documentation and without other developers successfully using it.
Is your API desirable?
What advantages does your API offer to be used instead of those of your competitors? What will the developer gain by choosing to use your API instead of another solution?
Does your API add value for stakeholders?
Your API needs to maximize value for all parties involved (owners, collaborators, partners, developers, end users, etc).
Developer Experience is essential for your API to succeed
It’s not enough just to release the API and hope that the devs will use it. To enhance the use of your API, you need to maximize the benefits delivered and offer a great dev experience.
Working these 7 pillars of the user experience described by Peter Morville (usefulness, usability, findability, accessibility, credibility, desirability and value) will help to consider different aspects of your API, which go beyond the technical part, thus improving the satisfaction and loyalty of the devs, and boosting the consumption of your API.