Experimenting with API’s

During my Human Centered Design and Engineering’s Integrated System Design and Technology class, we learned a lot about using API’s to access data and integrating them into our own projects. I learned a lot about manipulating and displaying data in order to make statements and/or solve problems.

For my final project I wanted to involve my interests in Japanese anime and music, so I created a sort of anime search engine that used the Anime News Network(ANN) API to access data like title, pictures, plot, etc, and then used the information retrieved from ANN to make a separate YouTube API request to find the first returned anime music video related to the anime.

Search page
Results page

Given a lot of freedom for this project, I used a very cute and simple interface that people who are interested in anime would consider familiar.

Challenges

Some challenges I faced during this project was figuring out how to manipulate an API in order to get the type of information I was interested in. Many API’s only let you request with specific terms (for example, an anime title or ID number). When I first started this project I wanted to be able to search by genre after retrieving information for the user. Given the allotted time to do this project, I unfortunately had to keep changing my project to fit the bounds of the API’s I could use.

What I Learned

Navigating through these challenges, I learned that it’s easy to connect multiple API’s within one application (for example, I used ANN’s and YouTube’s API’s). This created a lot of opportunistic ideas, and now I have thought of a lot of cool projects to start on in the future!

Conclusion

This project isn’t in a final stage, and I’ve been considering a lot of changes. Hopefully in the future I might be able to make it better, or make a similar yet more useful app.

Visit this app at hcdefinalproject.appspot.com!

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