Louis Debatte-Monroy - How to tailor your developer portal to your audience

API the Docs Virtual Event Series 2020 Recap

This talk was presented at API The Docs Virtual 2020 event series on 23 September. We are honored to share the video recording, slide deck and talk summary below. Enjoy!!

Visit the API The Docs 2020 recaps overview to explore all presentations this year.

Louis Debatte-Monroy

Head of Developer & Product Marketing at TomTom

Louis's presentation (video recording)



Louis's slides



Using personas to tailor your developer portal


Understand and Segment your audience

  • Your internal stakeholders need to understand your audience
  • Need to get away from "the developer" general stereotype
  • Serve your buyers and your users -- they are rarely the same person

A persona

  • Is a fictional character with back story, professional attributes, likes and dislikes, goals, challenges and frustrations, and with a personality
  • Stereotypical, but specific to business and industry
  • Tool to get a common understanding on who is your audience
  • Qualitative description, do not use for market segmentation
  • Changes with your understanding and learning
  • Internal tool only, used for everything created/built

At TomTom four distinct personas:

  • two technical, user personas (the Hacker and the Engineer), and
  • two business-oriented, buyer profiles (the founder and the PM).

Clear idea on how to sell to each and what influences them.

Tailoring the portal to the personas

/products - the Hacker user persona

  • Show speed to market, actual implementation
  • Interactive examples
  • Code snippets to copy and paste
  • Direct links to CodePen or GitHub

/products - the PM buyer persona

  • Simplified product overview for the PM, easily recognizable service categories. Industry terms, SEO!
  • Further product pages to answer: Is this a good company to work with? Is it worth investing? Can they help with my problem? References?
  • Simplicity, credibility, high-level descriptions
  • Focus on visuals and demos, no exhaustive technical details

/documentation - the Engineer user persona

  • Exhaustive, detailed, precise documentation for the engineer persona
  • Consistent IA for all the information on the APIs, all the tools and examples
  • No distractions

/documentation - the Founder buyer persona

  • Quick overview to show function and value
  • API Explorer tool: tool to rapidly test APIs with no authentication

Signs of success

  • Everyday referencing of personas in the office
  • Content clearly written for a specific persona
  • Real users match your fictitious personas
  • Predicted behavior happens in life

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