Developer Experience is important, and that includes much more than the technical design of an API. It also includes the documentation and support as well as the pricing and the legal licensing terms. In almost every API project I have been involved in the legal details have been slapped on last-minute, usually by a lawyer that does not know anything about APIs or technology.
There are also way too many examples of API licensing terms that are actively developer hostile, which does not really invite developers to use the API (assuming they read the terms of service that is).
At a first glance you might think that offering an API method that returns information about your application users might not be a good idea. With the increasing usage of APIs for business related purposes you might fear that you’re giving away precious information about your customers.
photo by The Wide Wide World
But think again. If you give the right amount of information, applications built on top of your API will be able to offer a better service to your users. Your final user will have a better experience and that might turn out to generate more business for you.
I have been working as a User Experience designer at CloudWork for the past 6 months and I’ve faced many challenges and opportunities while building an easy to use product that automates business processes and synchronizes cloud-based applications.
The UI and UX of the application was very easy to create compared to the actual UX of the service. The uncertainty and the number of dependencies for creating a successful integration between cloud applications is so high that it seems almost impossible to guarantee the Quality of Service.
The main issue is the lack of standards. Each application has a different API, different logic, different nomenclature. Even applications of the same class, e.g. CRM, are completely different beasts. This makes it really hard to guarantee the same solid integration between CRM A and APP X compared to CRM B and APP X. This can make creating a consistent User Experience very difficult.