APIs are for programmers, and user interfaces for everyone else. Right?
Wrong. Your API is for end-users too.
Don't believe me? Watch this video:
^^ Yes - that's an end-user grabbing an API key from a website, throwing it into a spreadsheet, and "programmmatically" calling an API!
Ok - some APIs don't resonate with end-users. If your product is so technical you have trouble explaining it to your neighbor, then avoid. However, most APIs do hit on some need for end-users, so why not open your doors to them? It's just a few billion people, that's all.
How to expose your API to the world
Your API is probably not designed for end-users to consume. So if you want to open your API up to the masses, here's what you should do:
- Make it dead simple for someone to find their API key. Seriously. Don't just hide this in some deep, dark corner of the site that's unreachable to end-users.
- Highlight the core endpoints of your API. For instance, if you're Twitter, "tweet" and "fave" should be prioritized, rather than some other semi-arbitrary order.
- Highlight your core endpoints' important parameters. If your "post tweet" endpoint really only needs the tweet text and API key, prioritize those parameters. Of course you probably have 30 more parameters, but focus on the most important 80%.
If you follow these rules, the next step is to expose your core endpoints as simple spreadsheet functions. That's because end-users use spreadsheets to access APIs programmatically. Sign up to be an API partner and we'll set you up with spreadsheet functions for your API and feature your endpoints on https://open.blockspring.com/browse for free.
What are you waiting for? Get your API out to end-users: aka the billions of people that can use spreadsheets, but not program.