Developer empathyΒΆ

Design with developer empathy

When it comes to APIs, developers are your users. The same principles of user-centred-design apply to the development and publication of APIs (simplicity, obviousness, fit-for-purpose etc). Most of the other criteria in this guide are traceable to the principles of good design. Perhaps the most important criteria to be mindful of is simplicity: as with any other product, people simply won’t use something if it is hard to use.

Hard-to-use APIs create bad public policy outcomes:
  • Potentially significant economic value will remain undiscovered or unrealised
  • Secondary markets that form around APIs (e.g. automated tax reporting software) will be less competitive, and therefore less efficient (API complexity creates barriers to market entry)