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Digital Content Writer
May 29, 2024

Each year, the DevPortal Awards offers the opportunity to highlight excellence and to recognize innovation. The awarded portals represent six years of the most outstanding solutions and best practices in API documentation and user experience: looking at past winners can serve as a benchmarking study.

What are the benefits of participation in the DevPortal Awards? Beyond the recognition and exhilaration of winning an award, there are significant benefits of going through the nomination process. 

DevPortal Awards nomination period

Ready to showcase your portal to the world? Check out the categories, and if you're ready, fill in the nomination form.

As an assessment system, the award’s categories give you a framework to self-evaluate how your developer portal measures up to the current user experience expectations. As we learned from previous nominees, putting a portal through its paces with a public participation in the awards gives you a good spur to iterate on the less cared-for aspects.

In a panel talk at Apidays Paris, some of last year’s contenders shared their thoughts on the benefits of the nomination and the advice they would give to aspiring teams.

Boost exposure in the community

One of the most immediate benefits of nominating your developer portal for the award is the heightened exposure it brings. The award nomination is free, any live external developer portal of high UX maturity has the chance to step into the spotlight, regardless of company size. Important to note: third-party vendor solutions are excluded from the nomination.

The process of nomination itself is exciting: you have to find the categories most fitting your portal's bright spots, gather your SMEs to narrate these highlights in appropriate detail, get formal internal approval, maybe do some content-cleaning to prepare for the publicity the participation brings. We hope the internal process results in your teams' work to gain more recognition and visibility within your organization.

Secure resources

Participating in the award shines a spotlight on your developer portal, allowing you to highlight its importance to decision-makers. While winning an award–or a special call-out from the jury–is the most obvious sign that the portal is work well done, the improvements resulting from the nomination process will pay dividends in the long run.

Nominating your portal can help you speed up necessary investments in the chosen aspects. Since the jury evaluates portals based on multiple criteria, it is worth involving a wide range of experts from different areas to make sure your portal delivers on all fronts. However, initiating such a cross-functional collaboration might be a challenge without a very specific goal in mind. As Paulo Victor (Monite) observed, ‘when you have a goal, it is easier to engage other people at the company’

Over the years (ca 2018), several teams reported that they chose their nomination category well in advance, and used its framework to methodically evolve their API documentation and the developer portal's user experience. Most notably, the categories discussing discoverability, findability, analytics, and accessibility can inspire effective and tangible improvement rounds. Filing off the rough edges from your onboarding process or the try-it-out functions based on the category criteria can also be a highly appreciated win for your users.

Learn from the best

When you are directly involved in the day-to-day operations of a successful API program, it is easy to brush off state-of-the-art innovations. The DevPortal Awards offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into what others are doing and gather inspiration for what you can improve on your portal. By actively entering the competition, and opening up for the jury to methodically compare your portal to others’, you can gain validation for your efforts that shine brightly, and you can also discover the areas where you could do better.

Emphasizing the importance of measuring your portal against others, Polina Zaichkina (Codat) pointed out that ‘when you stop looking around yourself is when you stop growing’. In the rapidly evolving API landscape, idleness can easily lead to stagnation. By drawing on best practices and lessons learned by other portal teams, you can leverage their experience to elevate your portal.

Valuable feedback

Nominated portals are evaluated by a panel of accomplished jurors well-respected in the different API communities, each bringing their own unique perspective and expertise.

Highlighting the importance of their feedback, Mang-Git Ng (Anvil) pointed out that one of the main reasons why his company decided to nominate their portal was that the DevPortal Awards ‘is a great opportunity to gain input from judges and the general population’. It is rare for a portal to receive so much attention all at once, but showcasing it for a discerning audience is a surefire way to gather impressions that can later be used to make improvements.

Would you like to learn more about the evaluation process and hear from the jurors themselves?

 

Read the jury interview from 2023 »

Listen to the jury interview from 2022 »

Set focused goals

The majority of nominees highlighted the nomination deadline as a source of motivation. Knowing that the jurors will only get to see a one-time snapshot of your portal can kickstart the implementation of features that might not get prioritized otherwise. The deadline creates a sense of focus that can reignite your team’s enthusiasm, and the category choices also help you set a realistic and tangible goal that allows you to challenge your team to aim higher in a specific area.

As an example of how nomination can help you prioritize projects, Mira Balani (Miro) explained that her team implemented two major features just in time for the evaluation, so the jurors would take them into consideration while assessing the portal. By aligning your efforts with the nomination timeline, your team can also leverage the deadline as a powerful catalyst for innovation.

Networking

The awards gala event celebrates the winners and highlights remarkable achievements, and it also offers a rare chance for API portal owners from across a wide range of industries to come together and exchange ideas. The online format makes it easy to connect with fellow devportal professionals from anywhere in the world: this can be a chance to initiate stimulating and inspiring conversations with peers from different backgrounds.

These discussions can spark collaborations, professional friendships, and they broaden your horizons with different viewpoints and industry news. Jackie Rosenzweig (Cloudinary) highlighted the open tables as one of the perks of attending the gala, stating that it’s a ‘rare opportunity to have a back-and-forth’ with people you normally wouldn’t get to meet.

Best practices

The panelists generously shared some advice to help those who have not yet made the leap to nominate their portals. Here are some of their best tips:

  • Study the categories in detail, and see where you are already excelling.
  • Draw inspiration from the Showcase Your Developer Portal events.
  • Put your name in the hat sooner rather than later.
  • Do not underestimate the work that goes into the nomination process.

Closing thoughts

The nomination process in itself can set the stage for improvements on your portal: the category descriptions are an excellent framework against which you can measure the maturity of your devportal, and guide you towards possible areas where you can grow.  

We hope that these insights and pieces of advice have served as a source of inspiration when you consider your application.

Keep in mind that the DevPortal Awards is strictly vendor-neutral and features only live, external devportals. The volunteer nature of the jurors’ work, as well as fair and reasonable comparison of the nominated portals constrains the awards to evaluate on the experiences of the external user persona only. 

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If you need direct consulting regarding editorial experience, multi-gateway developer portals, or if you need a UX audit or special solutions, our expertise at Pronovix is at your service.

 

All Pronovix publications are the fruit of a team effort, enabled by the research and collective knowledge of the entire Pronovix team. Our ideas and experiences are greatly shaped by our clients and the communities we participate in.

Szabina is a Content writer and researcher at Pronovix. Her main responsibilities include researching and writing blog posts, editing podcasts, and creating engaging social media posts.

In her free time, she plays the violin (to the neighbourhood's delight) and reads in both English and her native Hungarian.

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