API User Experience is not DX
API User Experience (APIUX) is not just about developers!
Did you know that more than half of the people working with APIs are non-developers? According to the Postman 2023 State of the API Report, 53% of API users can be found among product managers, business analysts, teachers, and many other roles not directly associated with software development.
The growth of AI systems makes it easy to connect directly to APIs. Non-developers are consuming your APIs in ways that didn’t seem possible not long ago. Their experience might change for the worse if your design approach introduces friction. Here are some common causes for increased API friction:
- Being too chatty or requiring too many round trips to complete an operation.
- Having common operations take many API calls to complete.
- Returning responses in formats difficult to understand.
- Not using standardized error codes and responses.
- Using complicated authentication schemes.
- Not following naming conventions.
While developers write code to integrate with your API once, end users keep consuming your API directly repeatedly. Keep that in mind during the design of your API.