User researcher capability
User research is really important for APIs, but API producer teams typically don't have a dedicated UR - perhaps because they don't see the value, perhaps because they can't justify a dedicated FTE. Could we improve the quality of our APIs by making API-trained user researchers more readily available to API producer teams, for example via a centrally-funded pool?
Under consideration make-building-apis-easier platform platform-phase-3 Suggested by: Tony Heap • Upvoted: 13 Feb, '22 • Comments: 2
I've worked in API documentation and content design for a few years now and one of the hardest team members to recruit, train and get productive are user reasearchers. I've even had to step in and take on the role as part of a UCD team, while new user researchers were still getting up to speed.
It's made harder by the bulk of user researchers gaining their experience in "general public" services like "Getting a fishing rod license". The transition to a technical field like APIs can be brutal, and as a result there's a high drop out and failure rate.
Having an "API ready" team of researchers, much as we have a small API ready team of writers, would help alleviate the problem.
Interesting @Mick, the desire to have broadly shared UR resource is often one of team utilisation and economics. Maybe it is harder to make it stack up than I'd thought.