This article dives into the Best Onboarding award category for the DevPortal Awards. We will highlight the criteria that we think defines this category and provide examples based on prior year nominations.

Questions to ask:

  • How can you attract and convert new users through your developer portal?
  • How can you make sure your customer developers can easily onboard and integrate with your APIs?

Best Onboarding

This category is for developer portals that clearly show what their APIs are about, how they work, how developers can start integrating and where they can find resources.

Onboarding information addresses the second and third stage of the downstream developer journey:

  • Evaluate: How can I, as a user, test the API? Can I evaluate the API before or after logging in?
  • Get started: How easy is it for me, as a user, to register? How can I start using the API that I selected to finish my task? What documentation types are available to help me find out how everything works?

Get started with the devportal & its APIs

The character of your devportal

What authentication and authorization processes do your users need to go through to start using your devportal?

  • Do you ask users to register and be logged in before they can access documentation and features?
  • Do you provide try-out options before registration?
  • Do you provide free try-out options after registration and authorization?
  • Do you ask users to go through a staged registration model, where they get access to docs and features depending on their authorization status?

When you communicate the registration process clearly (What will happen when? What do you get in return for what?), you help to set your users’ expectations correctly.



GoodData.UI asks users to register (through a short form) before they can enter the live examples.



Erste Bank’s overview page features a visual of how to get from registering into production.



Erste Bank gives an overview of how to get started and provides descriptions on how to use the sandbox environment, including code examples.



Sendgrid helps users to know about API key characteristics via highlighted sections.



According to the reciprocity principle, users will share personal data more easily if you provide them with information upfront. Evaluation tools (such as samples and demos) and testing tools (such as try-it-out options, a playground, an API explorer, a sandbox environment) can help to give your users a taste of what you will offer them in production. Business requirements and security restrictions influence what you can provide when. Read more on this topic in our article on developer portal user engagement.



The Orange lists the steps needed to start using the developer portal and its APIs.



The examples in this post are taken from some of the previous DevPortal Awards nominees and winners.

Developer Portal Categories

The Best Developer Portals of 2020 Learn more about the ten nomination categories for the Developer Portal Awards of 2020 and how you can submit a nomination.

Read more Nominate a Developer Portal




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.

About the author

Kathleen De Roo

Information Architect, Technical Content Writer

Kathleen started as a technical content writer, responsible for doing research and writing on developer portal aspects. As an information architect, she helps clients find out how to align business goals and user needs with the knowledge we gathered about devportals.

She holds master's degrees in history and in archival science & records management.