DevPortal Awards 2022 brought us 43 inspiring and incredible nominees who showcased the best API documentation and interface solutions. They could choose from 13 award categories that have been reviewed based on the lessons that we learned in 2021: Best Visual Design, Best International & Localized Devportal, Best Accessible Devportal, Best Use of Analytics in a Devportal, Best New DX Innovation, Best Community Outreach & Support, Best DevPortal Beyond Rest Platforms, Best Served API Business Model, Best DevPortal for Citizen Developers (Low/No-code), Best Use of Monetization, Best API Reference Documentation, Best Findability of Products in a DevPortal, Best Onboarding.
The jury panel went through the nominated developer portals, ensured a fair evaluation for everyone, and provided feedback. As a result, we are now gratefully sharing what we hope gives you a better view of the state-of-the-art of API documentation and developer experience in 2022.
DevPortal Awards 2022 - First Gala (recording)
The first cohort of finalists and the jury’s feedback
Special call-outs from the jury:
- Best Visual Design: Chase Developer
The jury wanted to call out the astonishing API use case implementation from the Chase Developer portal. The 3-panel API demo page gave a “Wow!” moment to all the jury members. The combination of the visual demo, with the documentation and the code is fantastic and a great way to learn step-by-step. These pages are very well designed, easy to navigate, and immediately understandable.
- Best Accessible Devportal: Chase Developer
The jurors would like to call out the great work done by the Chase Developer team, especially regarding the accessible UX of the portal.
The jurors also want to highlight the Developer Portal of ABN Amro for the API live demos that allow discovering their APIs by playing with embedded demos on the developer portal!
Fiserv Developer Studio’s great work in offering an anonymous sandbox. This allows developers to try their APIs without creating an account. It is a very powerful tool that drastically reduces the time to the first hello world and makes the discovery journey enjoyable.
TomTom has built a great developer portal. The visual design is very pleasant to look at and the clean design matches perfectly with the company brand. The design includes nice visual elements like maps and animations that help developers to better understand both their product offerings and APIs and SDKs. Even the bullet points were customized as waypoints to stick with a mapping theme and match the brand.
The Mercedes-Benz Developers Portal pages are clear and easy to navigate, the UI makes the portal intuitive. The team has put a real effort into building a design that supports the journey and the design is consistent on all pages of the portal. The technical docs are clean and easy to understand. Swagger UI has been successfully integrated within the portal and may be a best practice example for that integration. The jury loved the way the different tiers are presented offering to even test the SDK with your own car. The design really helped to understand the various way of testing the product and made the experience enjoyable.
- Best Community Outreach & Support: Visa Developer Center
The jury felt that the Visa Developer Center was a very strong entry in this category. The site was well designed with a landing page that serves a range of customer engagement. The jury appreciates their active social media presence, the numerous (guest) blogs and tutorials, and an attempt to incentivize developers who would provide the most contributions.
- Best Visual Design: Empathy Platform Docs
Seeing the Empathy Platform Docs portal, the jury really liked the product and its visual identity. The architecture of the portal is original, the onboarding journey is simple and great and the overall visual design is delightful. They found the right balance between content and visual support through images and animations. Animated visuals are simply awesome and fit perfectly within the portal content. The document index along with the progress bar (right side) are handy and very well designed. The jury also appreciated the 404 page and the cookie-freeness of the portal: “This is a cookie-free area. Who needs cookies when you can have trust? Feel free to browse our site and the only cookies you need to worry about are the edible kind.” These docs are true to their product name: showing empathy in many ways, shapes, and forms.
- Best Accessible Devportal: platformOs Developer Portal
From the jury’s notes: “We have been pleasantly surprised to see that the PlatformOS Developer Portal team has taken so much care in the accessibility of their portal: from their wonderful Style Guide to the meticulous care of the contrast level in the images. They are the winners of this category, congratulations!”
- Best International & Localized Devportal: BNI Digital Services
BNI Digital Services had localized videos, a chatbot, and tutorials, and the jury felt that there was good coverage for the developers in the region served the most by the portal. The jury also noted the smart implementation of the Google Translator API and they saw some nice examples in the collection of submissions. The BNI Digital Services portal did a nice job with the selection of which pages to translate, focusing on certain pages, such as an FAQ, perhaps for support reasons which indicated deep knowledge or empathy for the audience. The jury enjoyed learning about regional government digital initiatives as well as various integrations going on around the world. It’s exciting to see that developers are playing an active role in both integrations and transformations. These devportals are certain to lead the way to clear communication and education around the globe.
- Best New DX Innovation: platformOs Developer Portal
After creating an account, their guided onboarding process allows developers to set up a demo site in a single click, without having to validate your email address. This removes most of the onboarding friction and allows developers to discover and test their product in a few minutes.
These two portals matched the jurors’ expectations of delivering a great “Beyond REST Platforms” developer portal in a complementary fashion.
Surveying the Aiven Developer, we encountered no page that made the visitor feel less understanding than before. The jury especially liked content design, how the portal talks about things and explain it in one sentence on the current page, with lots of illustrations. The generous use of typography and design elements, the content design makes all the information work well together.
The jury appreciated the PlatformOS portal offering for developer flexibility, the open explanation of the offered 3rd party API integrations.
- Best Community Outreach & Support: RingCentral Developers
The RingCentral Developers site made it easy to access the community features and those features provided a positive user experience. The portal shows active and up-to-date social media accounts that support their community engagement as well. The jury especially liked how they tracked community engagement and recognized and rewarded participation. From one of the jurors: “RingCentral Developers seems to have robust community support. I think features like their Game Changer program could be more visible.”
Eleven jurors contributed many many hours of their focus to ensure a fair evaluation for all 43 nominees and highlight 2022's most outstanding API developer portal solutions. Their expertise in API programs, developer portals, and API documentation has helped to point out best practices and what it would be better to say farewell to.
DevPortal Awards 2022 - Second Gala (recording)
The second cohort of finalists
Special call-outs from the jury:
- Best API Reference Documentation: Plaid’s Developer Documentation
The Jury gave a special call-out to Plaid’s Developer Documentation for its unique style, which is consistent with their overall brand image, and the portal serving up extensive information on various API aspects.
- Best Findability of Products in a DevPortal: Fiserv Developer Studio, NationWide Partner Portal, FIS Developer Engine
The Fiserv Developer Studio has great findability, albeit “below the fold”. It highlights big services up front, and a very clear product categorization is carried throughout the site.
The NationWide Partner Portal got a special mention for its very clear use cases to guide the user by type.
The jury gave a special call-out to FIS Developer Engine for its impressive solution finder.
- Best Onboarding: Hazelcast Developer Docs
The jury gave a special call-out to the Hazelcast Developer Docs, for it provides a very comprehensive set of tutorials that can be filtered by programming language, product and use case.
The Jury was particularly struck by NatWest’s Bank of APIs’ developer portal. Like many banks, NatWest offers a mix of free and paid-for APIs. Banking regulations also mean that they must limit some APIs only to licensed operators. NatWest makes it clear which API products are paid for and which are restricted, while offering very clear use case explanations for every part of their offering.
Mercedes-Benz caught the jury’s attention with their highly polished API product pages that provide shortcuts to understanding the value of each product, alongside the black and white facts of what’s on offer.
- Best API Reference Documentation: Katana Developer Portal
The API reference on the Katana developer portal is applauded for providing: well detailed explanations of any additional API concepts and for its comprehensive API reference pages for all API resources.
- Best Findability of Products in a DevPortal: KBC
KBC has an outstanding portal in terms of findability. It has superior categorization with something “extra,” starting with product tags. Differentiates business personas, offering ‘business solutions’ in the top navigation and the product catalog. Though ‘coming soon,’ takes into consideration no-code audience, a rising trend in the industry. Very easy to navigate around the site using “you are here” breadcrumbs.
- Best Onboarding: Contrast Security Developer Central
The Contrast Security Developer Central presents onboarding resources in a fresh and dynamic way that tries to pull developers in. The portal provides a rich set of onboarding resources that consider different uses cases.
- Best Served API Business Model: High Mobility
The Jury said they were delighted by High Mobility’s pricing transparency. In an industry where ‘Call now for pricing’ is often the norm, High Mobility states in bold text the starting prices for each API call. Perhaps even more importantly, High Mobility puts the company’s products into context through high level use case explanations and low level explanations of each item of data they make available.
- Best API Reference Documentation: Fiserv Developer Portal
The EMEA region developer portal from Fiserv is notable because: it has complete API reference docs with detailed navigation at every stage and cross-linking to other interactive elements and recipes, and for its ability to make authorized API calls within the same user interface. The portal also gives access to other developer experience assets, like Postman collections and OpenAPI contracts.
Fiserv enable merchants to accept payments. The developer portal is where customers can discover, understand and integrate with Fiserv developer tools and APIs. The portal is designed to make it simple for developers to understand the products fiserv offers. Easily test them within their browser and subsequently integrate with them. Onboarding only takes a few seconds and the user is set up with sandbox access immediately. The site also offers Android Point of Sale which is an industry first.
- Best Findability of Products in a DevPortal: Visa Developer Center
About the Visa Developer Center, one of the jurors said: ‘If I could design a template for best product findability, it would be based off of this portal. Very clear strategies starting from the home page to orient the user, clear click affordance, and superior product catalog to aid findability. Though sitewide search needs improvement and top-level “you are here” navigation aids.’
- Best Onboarding: Fastly Developer Hub
The Fastly Developer Hub offers many ways to onboard tailored to the needs of different target audiences and supporting different strategies to learn: by studying core concepts, setting up a test environment, playing with code examples, demos and starter kits or watching a demo. The portal provides an impressively comprehensive set of example apps and demos which cover a broad range of different use cases. “Try it out” functionality is built in, accessible immediately and even available from the start page. The guides and tutorials are written clearly and consider different levels of expertise, e.g. by linking to other resources.
- Best SME Developer Portal: platformOs Developer Portal
- Best Overall Enterprise: Empathy Platform Docs
- Public voting: BNI Digital Services
Our most heartfelt congratulations to everyone!
The DevPortal Awards seeks to recognize the most outstanding solutions available today and push the boundaries of what we believe to be the key components of a developer portal for tomorrow. Subscribe to the DevPortal Awards Newsletter to get notifications about nomination, voting, gala event details, and DevPortal Awards winners.
We are deeply thankful to the Jurors for their enthusiastic support and contribution to the community. What do the jurors see as developer portals state-of-the-art in 2022?
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.