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radar blip

Demo frontends for API-only products

Published : Apr 26, 2023
This blip is not on the current edition of the Radar. If it was on one of the last few editions, it is likely that it is still relevant. If the blip is older, it might no longer be relevant and our assessment might be different today. Unfortunately, we simply don't have the bandwidth to continuously review blips from previous editions of the Radar. Understand more
Apr 2023
Trial ?

One of the big challenges in developing APIs is capturing and communicating their business value. APIs are, by their nature, technical artifacts. Whereas developers can easily comprehend JSON payloads, OpenAPI (Swagger) specs and Postman demos, business stakeholders tend to respond better to demos they can interact with. The value of the product is more clearly articulated when you can see and touch it, which is why we sometimes find it worthwhile to invest in demo frontends for API-only products. When a custom graphical UI is built alongside an API product, stakeholders can see analogies to paper forms or reports that might be more familiar to them. As the interaction model and richness of the demo UI evolves, it allows them to make more informed decisions about the direction the API product should take. Working on the UI has the added benefit of increasing developers' empathy for business users. This isn't a new technique — we've been doing this successfully when necessary as long as API products have been around. However, because this technique isn't widely known, we thought it worthwhile calling attention to it.

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