It’s a Wild Ride Building an API Specifically For Graphic Design!
Doing something new always causes feelings of exhilaration and panic all at the same time and, generally, in equal measure. It can be quite a task if you are trying to create an application program interface (API) since you need your wits about you. Still, it can’t be helped.The challenge of developing an API just for graphic design is both intriguing and scary at the same time. Intriguing because it would have to be something new in the way it would work, and scary because the need for it has to be justified as a worthy business venture. However, once you have those details out of the way, you can go ahead and get things rolling.
Define the design and sell it
The first thing is to determine what exactly you want this API to do. Yes, it is an API for graphic design, but what is the scope of its function. This has to be determined from both a technical and business angle in order to assess its feasibility and capacity to make returns on investment. Be sure to go as wide as you can in order to give your API that edge above others in the market.
The next thing is trying the sell your API to potential and current customers. Given its technical nature, it would be rather difficult to explain its need to businessmen who have little understanding (or even interest) in the technicalities of programming.One way to overcome this obstacle is to build the API and show them what it can do and how it can work for them to make their businesses better.
After all, ‘seeing is believing’. This can be done prior to having any launch as a means to gather momentum for the product. Another way is to use the API yourself and make some of its applications available to your customers for them to experience the difference in having the API you are developing first hand.
Calling in the cavalry
After you have sufficiently convinced customers and investors on the need for the API, you need to have it developed. Development may begin sooner in order to sell the API, but there is still need to bring in the best developers you can to get you a great quality product.
How?First, you need to have clear documentation on what the API is expected to do and how it will be used. This is more than the ‘sketch’ you had at the definition stage. Here you need well-researched and comprehensive documentation complete with tutorials and examples of code to be used in development. This is critical in helping developers know exactly what is required of them.
Next, you will have to get sufficient support for your developers from the wider community of experts. You know the development of any program takes a village and you need to make sure your small team has access to and the support of this village. Emphasize on outreach through chats and mailing lists. Share your progress and have others contribute. You’ll get farther that way.
Finally, please stick to what is familiar. Programming is like a language. If you ask someone to read or write a book in a language they don’t understand well, it may take years to do it. It is therefore important to choose API styles that are familiar to your team of developers. Some styles can be a little more complicated than others so be sure to get what your team is comfortable using.Be sure to make it abundantly clear to the developers to aim for the most user-friendly API they can. These are intended for customer consumption and the easier they are to use, the more popular they will be, and the more money will be made from their sales (yay!). Things to think about
There are certain considerations you should take into account in the course of this development.
1. The end user
More often than not, your API will be used by your customer to serve their customers. This is great all around and offers an opportunity to support your customers who are also developers. The catch is where your customer’s customer needs help using your API.Often, it is not appropriate to step in here, but you should be prepared to do so if your customer is unable to help their customer. You can do this by having a webhook notification that can be used when your customer needs support with their customer. Otherwise, let them work it out themselves.
2. Opening a can of (good) worms
When developing an API, you may just stumble upon great new ideas that can be incorporated into this or another API. The key here is to keep an open mind to something new while focusing on the task at hand. Help your team to pursue these ideas further within the development process. After all, most great discoveries were made by accident.
3. Going all around the world
It is the dream of most companies to have an international market, perhaps even a global reach. This presents a whole new challenge with regards to your API development. There will be need for language translations, accommodation of various foreign currencies and possibly development of unique apps for each demographic. In this case of API for graphic design, you may need to develop a database of graphic designers within each new country to link up with your customers.There is also the issue of acceptance within a particular country. Depending on the country’s progress and laws, you may have to wait a while or get right on with going global.
Development of an API is quite a process that takes into consideration various aspects of creation and marketing in order to ensure a successful product. An API made for graphic design is a great idea that should be undertaken with due consideration of the market and the target demographic in order to have a successful product.Author Bio: Lalit Sharma is an SEO consultant who runs a SEO house called Ranking By SEO. He is specialized in link building and other SEO related activities. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+ and his personal site.
Author Bio: Lalit Sharma is an SEO consultant who runs a SEO house called Ranking By SEO. He is specialized in link building and other SEO related activities. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+ and his personal site.
Author: Pixel is the art director for Pixel Productions Inc., a strategic graphic and web design company where his focus is to continually find creative and innovative strategies to implement with businesses who need brand design and marketing with impact.