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SXSW Interactive 2013

Developer Experience: The UX of APIs

Companies increasingly are adding APIs to existing products and many are even launching API-only businesses.

For developers, an API is the UI. I'll demonstrate how to apply user experience principles to APIs by discussing usability considerations and technical implementation details with examples from some of the best APIs online.

Using an API doesn't start and end with a request and response. I'll discuss tactics for documentation and other support resources that will excite and empower your developer users.

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  1. What are design patterns for going beyond basic REST CRUD? How have Facebook, Twitter, and other APIs evolved to support functionality beyond data manipulation?
  2. What authentication methods are available and when is it appropriate to use each method? What are the better, newer techniques for dealing with cross-site security policies?
  3. How should I expect input data and how should the request be acknowledged in the API's response? What are the pros and cons of URL parameters versus JSON HTTP body payloads for input?
  4. When are SDKs necessary and how should the design of the API be balanced with the language or platform?
  5. My API is ready; now what? How do I inform, excite, and support a developer community?


  • Jeremiah Cohick, Developer Experience Lead, Awe.sm


Jeremiah Cohick, Developer Experience Lead, Awe.sm

Meta Information:

  • Tags: developers
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Level: Advanced
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