When designing an API, which properties do we want the resulting API to have?

A well-designed API is simple, clean, clear and approachable for its consumers.

Why? Because in general, API consumers prefer APIs with these characteristics. And this is quite understandable, just think about your own reaction: If you have the choice, would you like to integrate with interface 1, which is complicated, cluttered and without any recognizable purpose? Or would you rather want to use interface 2, which is simple, clean, clear and approachable?

No brainer. Of course you would choose option 2 — even if it is a bit more expensive.

The key take away for today is: Simple, clean, clear and approachable APIs are much more likely to become successful, because consumers prefer them.

In the next part of this blog series, I will build on what we have learned today and tell some practical ideas for designing simple, clean, clear and approachable APIs.

In the meantime, read more on API design and API architecture here.

What is a well-designed API?

Matthias Biehl

As API strategist, Matthias helps clients discover their opportunities for innovation with APIs & ecosystems and turn them into actionable digital strategies. Based on his experience in leading large-scale API initiatives in both business and technology roles, he shares best practices and provides both strategic and practical guidance. He has stayed a techie at heart and at some point, got a Ph.D. Matthias publishes a blog at api-university.com, is the author of several books on APIs, and regularly speaks at technology conferences.