Google Research

API Design Reviews at Scale

CHI EA '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM New York, NY, USA, pp. 849-858

Abstract

The number of APIs produced by Google's various business units grew at an astounding rate over the last decade, the result of which was a user experience containing wild inconsistencies and usability problems. There was no single issue that dominated the usability problems; rather, users suffered a death from a thousand papercuts. A lightweight, scalable, distributed design review process was put into place that has improved our APIs and the efficacy of our many API designers. Challenges remain, but the API design reviews at scale program has started successfully.

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