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Information Architect
Jul 17, 2020

For selecting the Best Overall Devportal category winner of the DevPortal Awards, we inspect the developer portal from a holistic approach: What makes a devportal stand out against competitors? How do they elaborate on their strategy, UX/DX, and API documentation?

Best Overall Devportal

All developer portals nominated for any category of the DevPortal Awards are automatically considered for the Best Overall Devportal category as well.

This year we are introducing an extra, second step in the evaluation process for the Best Overall Developer Portal award, to aid the jury in this complex consideration. If your portal is nominated for any of the DevPortal Awards categories this year, you will receive an optional questionnaire addressing your take on your API program. You must fill out the questionnaire if your portal is to be nominated for the jury awarded Best Overall DevPortal.

In 2018, Cisco won the jury prize: “The decisive argument for Cisco DevNet was that they had an unbelievably complex problem to solve with their numerous products and content types, and they could meet this challenge in a truly convincing way.” In 2019, TomTom won because, according to the jury, they (1) scored very well in more than one category, and (2) made huge progress compared to last year.

Many of the developer portals that were nominated during the previous years, excelled in well-chosen, inspiring, consistent content and features: in this chapter we’ll highlight some of them.

Nordea uses contrasting colours that make content sections clear. The overview page shares Nordea’s vision on APIs, but mostly functions as a summary page that answers questions, such as (1) Why work with us?, which lists the Nordea benefits for different personas, and (2) How does it work? with a clear step-by-step approach to get started. The API catalog provides a link to a roadmap in Trello that lists future plans. Related categories: Best Design, Best API Business Model, Best Onboarding, Best API Reference documentation & Support

Nexmo’s community page engages users: it lists events, give an overview of video resources (e.g. of conference presentations), indicate how to get in touch, join the slack community and how to follow them on Twitter. Related category: Best Community Spotlight & Outreach

Ticketmaster immediately shows what the getting started process looks like. If needed, steps can be skipped (the buttons are clickable). Related category: Best Onboarding

CapitalOne’s API catalog lists which API products are fully available and which ones they’re working on. Note the links at the bottom of the tiles to learn more, to enter the documentation and a playground. Related category: Best API Reference Documentation & Support

Deutsche Bank encourages users to report bugs (here) and request features. Related category: Best API Reference Documentation & Support

Shopify’s legal docs cover long and short explanations of specific topics. Besides that, the devportal has great design features (an overview page with abstract graphics, micro illustrations, and hover effects on clickable tiles; a docs page that combines aesthetics and content in a functional way). Related categories: Best API Business Model, Best Design

Hootsuite mentions how and where to find support and how much time it takes to receive an answer to questions from the support team (which helps users know what to expect). Related category: Best API Reference Documentation & Support

Design for usability, consistency and experience — strategic decisions, information architecture, UX and UI design, and development go hand in hand. This will result in a higher API usage, a higher perceived API value, less friction and engaged users who might even become advocates for your devportal.

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.

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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.

Kathleen is an information architect helping clients find out how to align business goals and user needs with the knowledge we gathered about devportals. She grew her expertise through early research on developer portals to determine components, strategy, and best practices for user experience. She holds master's degrees in history and in archival science & records management.


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