Update #3 - Learning From Liftoff

Almost two weeks ago, we launched our API Designer to the public. Since then, we have received a tremendous amount of feedback - mostly positive, with a few very consistent pieces of constructive criticism. Today, we are releasing a large update, that we hope addresses most of the common complaints. It is online at https://designer.stoplight.io.

The two most common pieces of negative feedback were:

The main navigation & hierarchy is confusing.

We hear ya! We made several mistakes with the current design:

  1. All of the main navigational components were given the same importance in the UI.
  2. It was optimized to be efficient for users that already understand it. Right now, most users are new, so this optimization did not make sense.
  3. It was optimized for the wrong user type. Most team members do not need quick access to multiple APIs/workspaces, member management, etc.

So, with this new design, we've re-prioritized the importance of certain features. For example, most users will not need to deal with or even know about workspaces, unless they are in the role of managing a team. Versions are usually not needed for brand new APIs, so they are not part of the main navigational flow - use them when you need them.

This design update includes all the same features (more even) than the old design, but prioritizes features relevant to new users, and tucks away other features until they're needed.

We have also significantly reduced the number of clicks required to get common things accomplished. There is still work to be done here, but, for example:

  • Get to an APIs documentation. 4 clicks -> 1 click.
  • Import an API. 3 clicks -> 2 clicks.
  • Invite somebody to your API. 4 clicks -> 2 clicks.

... and so on.

It's not clear what to click on

This boils down to contrast on the page, and use of color. We've bumped up the contrast between main navigational components, and the page content. We've also introduced an additional color for actions. Where-as before every action on the page was purple, now only 1-2 actions are purple (our accent color), and other actions are cyan. This makes it clearer what the 1-2 most important things on the page are, at all times.

Before:

After (note that the page header scrolls away to maximize screen space):


We are constantly improving our products, and have much more to share with you in the coming months. Feedback is tremendously valuable to us, and goes directly into our products, so please keep it coming!

The StopLight Team,
Marc, Chris, Tom, and Vazha


Changelog

Besides the substantial ui/ux changes:

  • [new] Render markdown in json schema property descriptions.
  • [new] Pattern property support in JSON schema editor.
  • [new] JSON schema generator, identify multiple property types in array of objects.
  • [new] Duplicate button for endpoints and models.
  • [fix] Anti-alias font only on retina screens.
  • [fix] Treat code as inline in notes.
  • [fix] Hide property names in JSON Schema Editor for combination types.
  • [fix] Always show save/create button.
  • [fix] JSON schema editor rendering issue with long descriptions.
  • [fix] Use current API name and version in page titles.