Usability Case Study: openFDA API Reaps Benefits of Open Platform

In June the openFDA released an API to allow access to it’s directory of healthcare data that includes negative events induced by products in patients. The API Usability Program, part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), was responsible for evaluating the usability of the API. In an article recently published by Digital Gov, Sean Herron of 18F highlights the GSA’s process of crafting their API. 

The Usability Program refined their API through thorough planning, many iterations of pre-release testing, gathering feedback from users, and on-the-spot bug fixing. Through a strict process of analysis and change, they were able to craft a very consistent and user-friendly API. What is most innovative about the API is that it provides an interactive documentation console. Using this portal, Herron says that developers considering implementing the API can make realistic calls to test how the API’s parameters and ordered responses function. 


Original Article

API Usability Case Study: openFDA

Bill Doerrfeld I am a consultant that specializes in API economy research & content creation for developer-centric programs. I study Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and related tech and develop content [eBooks, blogs, whitepapers, graphic design] paired with high-impact publishing strategies. I live and work in Seattle, and spend most of my time as Editor in Chief for Nordic APIs, a blog and knowledge center for API providers. For a time I was a Directory Manager & Associate Editor at ProgrammableWeb, and still add new APIs to the directory every now and then. Let's connect on Twitter at @DoerrfeldBill, or follow me on LinkedIn.