Building User Personas for API Success

“This is exactly what the customer wants” — Senior Developer

How did the Senior Developer know what a customer wants? How did she break down the customer’s needs, wants, desires? Is the senior developer a Time Lord and can see into the future?

What is not seen in this statement is the use of User Personas. As the person responsible for API success, one of the most important tools is the creation of User Personas. I leverage User Personas to represent the goals and behavior of my internal and external users of my API services. The User Personas are hypothesized like every other idea and then validated from synthesized data collected from interviews with users, research in the market and job postings.

Another great validation method for User personas is to user the Second City style of scene creation and let the personas interact. Within the scene User Personas become alive and can accomplish three objectives. First, conflicts that a persona may have with your API will become visible. Second situations that will heighten the conflict will also present themselves. Third and this is the most important methods to reduce the conflict and hopefully resolve the heightening factors will become apparent.

As a creator of APIs I can I utilize multiple tool sets from different fields. User Personas help me technical documentation for teaching people how to build APIs, how to sell API products and how customers can build applications great applications using the APIs.

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