Visa had a growing set of APIs that spanned across various websites, many of which were not publicly available. There was no easy way for customers to learn about these APIs and features outside of an existing business relationship. Visa Developer Center was initiated to make an increasing portion of these capabilities publicly available and to help developers and other customers find the APIs they needed to start building.
As a senior designer, I worked with a small team and was responsible for the visual design and UX of the site. We started the process by doing some competitive analysis. Next, we printed off screens of a variety of developer sites and hung them on our office walls in order to solicit feedback from around the organization. We pulled in many developers to get input on key likes and dislikes and encouraged people to write and post comments. The most important take away was that the site had to be well organized and easily searchable in order to be effective.
User testing proved that the APIs needed to be easily searchable but also categorized in a way that encouraged exploration. In addition, the design needed to be flexible enough to accommodate additional APIs in the future. The solution was a combination of robust search functionality, a search menu that was neatly categorized and a catch-all in the form of a mega-menu in the top navigation. We sprinkled in similar APIs at the documentation level to encourage exploration. A key success metric was the number of user accounts created, and we exceeded our goal by hitting thousands of unique accounts a few weeks after launch.