API Center User Experience Improvement Research and Discovery


Product Overview

This case study is an in-depth examination of Discover Financial Services’ API Enablement and Standardization Discovery Research. The research was conducted over a period of six months and aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the API Center, its current usage and potential areas for improvement. Through a thorough analysis of the data collected, we will delve into the challenges faced by the company and the solutions that were proposed to address them.

The North Star of this research was to identify opportunities for improvement and to provide a roadmap for the future development of the API Center. This case study provides valuable insights for companies looking to optimize their API enablement and standardization efforts.


Total Sessions


Project Length


Total Participants

Product Team

Yinnette Olivo
Lead Experience Strategist & Researcher
Lise Noble
Product Design Leadership
George Mitry
Lead CraftWorx Engineer


About the Discovery & Research Workgroup

The Discovery & Research Workgroup is a team dedicated to conducting research and product discovery to reduce uncertainty around solutions to pain points. By focusing on user-driven design, the team ensures that the end-user is at the center of the product development process.

The workgroup understands that discovery is not a one-size-fits-all approach and therefore, adapts the process to fit the specific problem at hand. This allows them to identify areas that may require additional concentration, focusing on personas and their individual needs to create tailored experiences that work for the specific audience. This approach ensures that even if the goals vary from user to user, everyone is getting what they need from the product.

In summary, the Discovery & Research Workgroup is an essential team that plays a vital role in the success of the product by understanding the needs of the end-users and providing tailored solutions that meet their needs.


What is the API Center Improvement Initiative?

The API engagement seeked to…

  • Perform a comprehensive discovery of the API Center using CraftWorx & Design Thinking methodologies in order to identify areas for improvement and validate the THINK Theory in a real-world product development scenario.
  • Schedule and facilitate user sessions with internal and external API users to gather feedback and input on the current solution.
  • Collect qualitative data and conduct research to gain a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current API Center.
  • Use the research findings to make informed decisions on what improvements to features and functionality should be included in the next product release.
  • Guide the design and development of future stages of the API Center, creating a scalable and user-centered tool that meets the needs of the users who helped create it.


The Challenge with the API Center

The API Center serves its intended purpose, however, during user interviews, it was identified that there were some limitations and pain points associated with the tool. Users expressed frustration with the limited functionality and difficulty in navigating the tool. Pain points included issues with discoverability, difficulty in task prioritization and documentation.

Based on the feedback received during the interviews, it was clear that users desired a reduction in friction, integration with other tools, an easier testing process, simplified navigation, and a collaborative environment for API management and versioning.

One of the main challenges identified was the issue of discoverability. To address this, a strategic digital marketing strategy was developed to increase awareness of the API Center and drive adoption.

The goal is to make the API Center a single source of truth for all internal API needs, easily accessible and user-friendly for all users.

  • Lack of personalization and value in metrics
  • Navigation is full of friction and confusing
  • Lack of focus on primary persona driving functions 
  • Lack of meaningful relationships within the experience
  • The system is manual and labor-intensive to use
  • No automation regarding approvals, submissions, and notifications
  • APIs missing important information as there is no error handling in place for the validation of required details. 
  • No version control or testing is leading to duplicates and confusion over capabilities and ownership


Leveraging the users to understand their needs and preferences

What are personas?

Personas are fictional characters that represent a specific group of users or customers. They are based on real user data and research and are created to provide a detailed understanding of the target audience. Personas are characterized by their demographics, goals, pain points, and behaviors, and are used to inform the design and development of a product or service.

Why are they important in UX research?

Personas are important in UX research as they provide a consistent and detailed understanding of the target audience. They help to identify the needs and preferences of users, allowing the design and development team to create solutions that meet those needs. Additionally, personas can provide empathy and insight when discussing features and product changes, making it easier to make decisions that align with the user’s needs. The use of personas in UX research can help to improve the overall user experience and increase user satisfaction.

The Consumer

The Provider

06. The user-driven and developed solution

Persona-Driven Experience

Persona driven experiences that include comprehensive publish and consume journeys.


New space where engineers can collaborate together as a team, view metrics, work on drafts, test and more.

Powerful Search

Improved taxonomy with search to increase discoverability and comprehensive card design.

Design Lang Intergration

API center will be in sync with the DTA Design Language making the new experience recognizable to users.

New API Details

Improved details of APIs including all all meta data, endpoints, responses, related/team/suggested apis, testing, version history, etc

Team Space

Create a culture of knowledge, administration and teamwork, having API ownership belong to team and not any single person.

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About the Research Process