Developer Experience
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Developer Experience

Top strategies to improve the developer experience of your API

About the Book

At Nordic APIs, we pay special attention to the overall strategy behind Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). And time and time again, we've found that quality developer experience truly sets apart favorite services with high adoption from the underperforming ones. So, how can you design a great API experience?

In this volume, we've collected our top-performing articles on developer experience. We'll look into tips to streamline the discovery and onboarding process, as well as ways to make your API more self-service. We cover best practices around documentation, sandboxes, and sample code. We'll also explore some particular design traits to keep consistent to retain happy users.

As APIs surge in importance across the industry, DX has become a competitive edge. If you have an API-as-a-Product or want to improve usability for your internal microservices, honing in on developer experience is becoming more and more important. And although our focus will be API developer experience, these traits could be applied to increasing developer satisfaction across all flavors of software services.

About the Author

Nordic APIs
Nordic APIs

In 2013, Nordic APIs was formed to help organizations become more innovative, lean, and efficient. Nordic APIs has grown into one of only a handful of all-­API-­related event series held anywhere in the world. After hosting more than a dozen events, the community has grown to include hundreds of international thought leaders. Through the global reach of its blog, Nordic APIs is connected to 10's of thousands of API practitioners from around the world. Visit for more information.

Table of Contents

    • Supported by Curity
  • Preface: What Is Developer Experience?
    • Developer-Facing Tools
    • Considering The Developer Journey
    • What To Expect in our eBook, Developer Experience
    • Enjoy Developer Experience!
  • API Onboarding Is Broken (And How To Fix It)
    • Show, Don’t Tell, (With Code Samples)
    • Support vs. Peer Support
    • The Documentation Paradox
    • Measure & Iterate
    • API Onboarding: Final Thoughts
  • Everything You Need To Know About API Discovery
    • Guide To API Discovery
    • Types Of API Discovery
    • Tips For API Discovery
    • API Discovery: Final Thoughts
  • 5 Ways to Make Your API More Self-Service
    • 1. Decrease Time To First Call (TTFC)
    • 2. Provide A Sandbox For Testing
    • 3. Instant Account/API Key Issuance
    • 4. Engage With Marketplaces
    • 5. Comprehensive, Easily Navigable Documentation
    • Self-Service APIs: Final Thoughts
  • Best Practices For Creating Useful API Documentation
    • Understanding The Audience For API Documentation
    • The Essential Components Of API Documentation
    • Best Practices For API Documentation
    • Best Practices For API Documentation: Final Thoughts
  • 7 Best Practices for API Sandboxes
    • What Is an API Sandbox?
    • Seven Short ‘n’ Sweet Suggestions for Sandbox Success
    • API Sandboxes: Final Thoughts
  • What Does a Bad Developer Experience Look Like?
    • 8 Developer Experience Anti-Patterns to Avoid
    • Bad Developer Experience: Final Thoughts
  • Why Time To First Call Is A Vital API Metric
    • A Deeper Dive Into TTFC
    • From Time To First Call to Active User
    • Exploring “First Call Motivators”
    • Improving Your Time To First Call
    • Time To First Call: Final Thoughts
  • Developer Marketing for API Companies
    • Are You Developer-Focused or Developer-Enabled?
    • Find the Real Competitor to Your API
    • Help Developers Solve Their Problems
    • Developer Marketing: Final Thoughts
  • Why Your API Needs a Dedicated Developer Experience Team
    • Understanding the Difference: DevRel and DX
    • Why Developer Experience?
    • Why the Shift?
    • You Need a Dedicated Developer Experience Team
    • 4 Main Responsibilities of a Developer Experience Team
    • DX Team: Final Thoughts
  • Tips on Creating Outstanding Developer Experiences
    • DX For Onboarding
    • DX For Developer Dashboards
    • DX For Developer Advocates
    • DX For Developer Communities
    • DX Time and Task Management
    • KPIs to Improve DX
    • Building Outstanding DX: Final Thoughts
  • How To Find An Audience For Your API?
    • What Does Your API Do?
    • Carry Targeted Messaging Throughout
    • Where to Find Your Audience?
    • Is Your Organization as Invested as You Are?
    • Finding An Audience: Final Thoughts
  • Pointers for Building Developer-Friendly API Products
    • 1. Know Your Developers
    • 2. Be Obsessive about Naming
    • 3. Always Stick to Your Process
    • 4. Build a Complete Ecosystem
    • 5. Think API Governance
    • Developer-Friendly API Products: Final Thoughts
  • 9 Areas of Consistency for Great Developer Experience
    • 1. Naming and Endpoint Consistency
    • 2. API Design Paradigm
    • 3. Error Handling
    • 4. Documentation
    • 5. Support and Feedback
    • 6. Change and Versioning
    • 7. Security
    • 8. Authentication and Authorization
    • 9. Platform Consistency
    • Be Consistent: Final Thoughts
  • Nordic APIs Resources

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