API Center for Enablement

API Center for Enablement and CraftWorx tackle the Complex World of APIs at Discover

This case study focuses on the recent project undertaken at the API Center at Discover Financial Services. Despite the center serving its intended purpose, feedback from discovery user interviews indicated several limitations in functionality, prompting a need for an overhaul.


Idea Refinement and Validation

The project began serendipitously during a discussion on UX capabilities and the initiation of a UX Discovery Enablement initiative under Discover’s Ways of Working. The API Center had been criticized for limited functionality and poor user experience, particularly in terms of discoverability, navigation, task prioritization, and documentation. The feedback was clear—users needed a platform that reduced friction, integrated well with other tools, simplified testing processes, and supported collaborative API management. My task was to lead this transformative project, ensuring that the API Center not only met but exceeded the expectations of its users by making it a single source of truth for all internal API needs at Discover.

my tools

The tools I used on this project...


The Consumer

Also, known as the seeker, the person whose task requires them to find an secure Discover-approved API. The consumers primary priorities revolve around searching, consuming and maintaining
their app.

  • Search for possible APIs that are able to fit their needs
  • Find the correct API that will serve them correct info
  • Test the API to ensure functionality and reliability


The Provider

Also, known as the giver, the person whose task requires them to produce APIs to a secure Discover-approved environment where others are able to consume. The provider’s primary priorities revolve around creating an API, publishing and maintaining.

  • Quickly and efficiently publish an API
  • Enter all of the API information to ease discoverability
  • Attach Swagger doc to ensure correct consummation

the challenge

API Center’s Limited Functionality

Upon engaging in discovery user interviews, several core issues emerged. Users expressed frustration with the API Center’s limited functionality, problematic discoverability, and cumbersome navigation. The lack of integration with other tools and inefficient testing processes were also significant pain points. These challenges hindered the effectiveness of the API Center, affecting user productivity and satisfaction. My role involved not just identifying these issues but also understanding their root causes to devise a comprehensive solution that addressed these user needs. The goal was to transform the API Center into an intuitive, efficient, and collaborative environment.

the approach

Methodical and Collaborative Design Thinking

I spearheaded a series of participatory design sessions involving diverse teams from payments, card services, banking, and testing departments within Discover. The approach was methodical and collaborative, designed to harness the collective insights and expertise of all stakeholders. We conducted extensive user research, employing techniques like journey mapping and persona development to understand both the provider’s and consumer’s needs. This research informed our design decisions, leading to the development of a prioritized feature list and new user interface proposals. The sessions were interactive and dynamic, focusing on real user needs and fostering a deep understanding of how the API Center could better serve its users.

the results

The outcome of this project was a significantly improved API Center, characterized by enhanced functionality and user satisfaction. The new interface was intuitive, facilitating easy navigation and efficient task completion. We successfully integrated the API Center with other critical tools, significantly improving the testing process and collaborative capabilities. The redesign led to a noticeable increase in user engagement and productivity, affirming the value of comprehensive UX research and participatory design in creating solutions that truly meet user needs. The project not only transformed the API Center but also set a benchmark for future innovation at Discover Financial Services, ensuring continued growth and user satisfaction.

  • A new API Workspace: An environment with easy manageable interface with quick access to tasks
  • An API Center Adoption Plan: Includes improved experience promotion and DTA integration.
  • A New Team Space: Makes working in teams easy and promotes peer driven development
  • A New Testing Environment: A sandbox will facilitate testing and validation, cutting down on dev times.
  • The New API Information Structure: Robust API Details that will provide consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions on use, policy, changes and security.
    The New API Details Feature: A powerful documentation space for APIs including online editing &try
    The New Provider Experience: A frictionless journey that allows providers quick testing & publishing
    The New Consumer Experience: A frictionless journey with a powerful search feature and automated
    access granting for APIs.


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