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Developer-friendly API documentation

What is API documentation?

API documentation is a reference resource (usually in the form of an online portal) that allows developers to work with, and integrate your software or application, into their API.

Complete and accurate documentation can be the most important factor for developers when deciding on what software and applications to use in their business. It is often considered more important than service availability, or response time. So if developers don’t know what an API can do, or how to use it correctly, it doesn’t matter how great the service is; it’s going to be too tough to implement.

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Why should I invest in API documentation?

Developers are consumers too, and like consumers, they appreciate simple, well-designed, and easy-to-use products. They expect to be able to find the information they need to get things done, and they often have the API documentation open all day as a reference. Getting developers over the initial learning curve builds confidence in your services and their commitment to your product. By understanding the full capability of the API, developers use more functionality and therefore further increase adoption of the service.

Well-executed API documentation can be a great marketing and sales tool. If the API is a key part of a product strategy rather than just a feature, the most effective way to promote the API to the people who will be using it – the developers – is to provide clear, accurate, and useful documentation.

So, when writing API documentation, it’s important that your format is clearly structured, with searchable web pages, that are efficiently updated and maintained.

Well-designed API documentation will give you the following advantages:

Gives developers confidence in your product

Makes your product easier to use

Encourages developers to use more features

Ensures developers keep using your products

Why work with us?

We combine the principles of efficient software development with our experience of making complex information clear. In practice, this means we establish some consistent frameworks, focus on the most important content, and ensure that the ability to create clear and accurate content becomes easy for both in-house and outsourced resources.

In summary, 3di help you ensure that you have the tools, processes and dedicated resource to produce and maintain high-quality API documentation. 3di do this by:

  • Using the best Information design practices to ensure efficiency is built into the process
  • Establishing a content creation process to take the pressure off your resources
  • Implementing content distribution strategies to ensure developers have easy access to the information they need
  • Ensuring continuous improvement of your API documentation as part of 3di’s commitment to innovation

Contact us if you would like to discuss your API documentation, or see examples of our API documentation template.

3di can also help you create customer and partner portals, which you can use to keep your customers and external partners informed of the latest changes to your products and services. Please visit the link above, or click the purple ‘contact us’ button to find out more.

Our considerations

When 3di helps create and improve API documentation, some of our considerations are:

Getting started

We provide the details and concepts necessary for a developer to get up and running, and in a position to start exploring and solving problems.

Reference

This is the detailed list of the functions of the API and might include the endpoints, parameters, error codes, and code examples.

Security

How to balance making the API documentation support your marketing and keeping commercially sensitive content secure.

Examples

Help the developers imagine scenarios that get the best from the service, and bridge the gap between conceptual possibilities and real-world applications.

Content relationships

How to ensure you can efficiently reuse and maintain the wider set of content about your product.

Tutorials

These are instructions on achieving specific tasks within the service.

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