Chapter 2. Guidelines for Designing a Great API

If you have been involved with any kind of software product, you have probably heard of the term user experience, or UX. This is the discipline of meeting the exact needs of the user, from their interactions with the product, company, and its services.

Developer experience (DX) is just as important for APIs as UX is for great applications. The developer experience focuses on the various aspects of engagement with developers for your API product. This extends beyond the features of the API. It also includes all aspects of the API product, from first glance to day-to-day usage and support.

As we seek to understand how to design a great API, it is important to remember that DX is important for both internal and external developers. Internal developers benefit from great DX because they are able to create business value faster, especially for newer developers that just joined the organization. External developers benefit by integrating your well-designed API quickly, hopefully faster than any competitor can offer (or building it in-house).

As you begin to produce APIs for internal or external developers, you will be faced with a variety of decisions about your API. This can range from how you manage it as a product, to its design and documentation. The following seven guidelines will help your organization incorporate a great developer experience for the internal and external developers that will use your API.

#1 - Treat Your API as ...

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