In this talk, I will mainly focus on the downstream developer (people that use APIs, not build them) journey on public-facing (external) developer portals. This user journey has 6 stages: discover/research, evaluate, get started, implement/troubleshoot, celebrate, maintain. Each stage requires a slightly different approach to provide the best possible Developer eXperience.

  • To provide great DX, we need to tackle API friction (the resistance developers experience while using your API) along the developer journey stages and apply developer marketing techniques. The success of a developer portal is very much influenced by how users feel along their journey and afterwards. Do your resources match their needs and expectations to reach a specific goal? How can you make sure users can onboard easily? Which documentation types match the journey stages best and provide the best documentation experience? How can you make sure you don’t constrain users? How can you engage developers, even turn them into your advocates?
  • Documentation eXperience (Doc X) design is about addressing these user journey stages via specific documentation types which best provide what your users need, exactly when they need it. Each documentation type has its purposes, and you can wield them well to see to the bumps along the developer’s journey: e.g. a landing page directs users towards the place they need to be, tutorials play a major role in the onboarding phase, a blog can help to pull in new users and inform your existing ones about your miscellaneous news.

This talk will show many examples of the current best practices, spiced up with in-house research results.