Talk: Complex APIs

This talk is another take about my talk about Complexity, but this time I concentrated in Complexity in Web APIs, while the other one was “Complexity in programming”.

The talk is centered around users: in the introduction I speak about how they think, in the first half I give some general design guidelines, and in the second half I divide users into groups, and give some UX tips adapted to each group.

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I gave this talk to the “Adobe API Group”. They contacted me via email to see if I could adapt my talk (they explicitly said so).

The experience was unusual for me for several reasons: first, this was the first time I was asked to give a talk about a specific subject. Until now, I had picked them at my own volition. It was challenging, but I enjoyed it.

The other surprising thing was the presentation setup. It was a teleconference, which is ok. I was told that people would listen to the talk from their homes or offices, but they would not connect their webcams. So I would present to an undetermined amount of strangers without even seeing their faces. It was also recommended that I didn’t share my webcam, so they would not see my face either.

I am used to at least some degree of body language between me and my audience, so I got the “I am talking to a wall” feeling, especially at the end, after talking alone for 40 minutes. It didn’t feel like doing a presentation; it felt like doing a screencast (and I don’t have experience doing those).

Nevertheless, the feedback I got was good. I was told that it was “A non-technical talk for technical people”, despite the fact that parts of the talk where really technical. I want to think that I did such a good job at making them easy to understand that they seemed non-technical. The alternative is that I didn’t get my message across, and I don’t want to think that.

I was also told that this talk was Conference-worthy. We’ll see.