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.
According to ISO 9241-210, User Experience, or UX, is “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service”. Additionally, Wikipedia has a broader definition, covering many aspects of the way users interact with a system:
[UX] involves a person’s emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. — bolds added by me
So, if APIs are, by definition, Application Programming Interfaces, API User Experience can be defined as follows: