APIs vary in their complexity, functionality and also usability. In Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) applications, which are mainly mobile applications that offloads processing / storage to the cloud, APIs can be complex as they may span across both Mobile and Cloud. Therefore, adopting these APIs may be difficult.

My question is, if I am developing an API for MCC applications, how can I measure its usability? In other words, how can I determine if an API is easy to use? can we use the time spent to learn and use the API as a measure for its usability / learnability?

For example if an API is taking a developer (who is using it for the first time) 15 minutes to integrate with an existing application. Can we say that it has a high usability? is there any comparative studies or statistics on this?

How about APIs usability and ease of use in general (not MCC specific), is there any published studies on how to measure that?

Any help is highly appreciated.

  • 1
    If one person answers that 2 hours is high usability, another could argue the opposite with no real basis either way. Closing for being primarily opinion-based. Though if you want my opinion, taking 2 hours to integrate your program with an existing RESTful API is very good. – Neil Oct 11 at 6:52

This would be a very difficult thing to reduce to a metric. For example, one developer may spend a week integrating because they can only spend a few minutes a day working on it, but they found it highly usable.

One option is to contact new consumers after, say, a week and ask for feedback on their experience with integrating. This will also give you the reasons why it was usable / unusable.

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