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How can an API integration in itself enhance a project’s overall UX?

4m 37s

In their One Question for UpTop Health video series, UpTop Health experts discuss how can an API integration in itself enhance a project’s overall UX from their article, “3 Ways to Enhance UX with API Integrations.”

Moderator: John Sloat, (CEO)
Interviewees: Craig Nishizaki (Head of Business), Yuri Kurat (Chief Technical Officer)
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Episode Transcript

Moderator: Hi, welcome to One Question with UpTop Health. Today’s article is “Three ways to enhance UX with API integrations” After reading this article, the question I have is, How can an API integration in itself enhance a project’s overall UX? And Yuri, could you start us off please?

Yuri: Yeah, a great rule of thumb with integrations is to build whatever is core to your business yourself and then put everything around it with integrations. For example, if you’re an ecommerce company, then you would want to build a special custom checkout for your customers yourself because that’s what separates you on the market. But other services like validating the address, you would want source out to let’s say FedEx or Google Maps or services of that nature because it doesn’t make sense for you to build a whole mapping or address validation service just to have that piece done. So in that way you can have some efficiencies. In healthcare, for example, privacy is a very big issue but that’s not core to your business. So if you’re building products in healthcare, it’s probably wise to source out the cyber security questions, the privacy questions, authentication functionality, to the third party providers whose core business that is and focus on your main competency. In that way, build the custom flow yourself and then enhance it with other services.

There’s always things to look out for. For example, those other services like Google Maps, or  authentication services; they are not giving their information or their services for free, and I don’t mean in a monetary sense. They’re also getting your users’ information as they hit your APIs. So that is something to look out for. Another important thing to remember is performance because when you hit other APIs, there’s always some delay with outside services. So performance can start lagging if there are too many. In the end, with any good UX, it starts with empathizing and mapping out what the user journey is and then using your own functionality, and your own code and integrations to make sure that the journey is smooth and frictionless. Craig what do you think?

Craig: Yeah. I really liked what you said about mapping out that user flow as part of your planning as you’re thinking about the APIs and the services that you’re going to use, or subscribe to, versus building out yourself because I feel like there’s a lot of integrations that you could take advantage of to speed up, to accelerate the project and to provide the end-user with what they want and what they need. It’s just a matter of balancing the trade-offs in terms of performance, privacy, security, things like that.

From a healthcare perspective, one of the most frequently asked for features is provider search (being able to find the provider that’s within the insurance company’s network and which ones are outside the network), and there’s APIs that are available out there rather than building that yourself. One of the reasons to tap into an API, from my perspective, for that type of function is that the data changes so frequently (who’s accepting new patients, who’s not), all that type of variability, and if you were to build that out yourself as a payer you’d now have to manage all that data to make sure that it’s accurate. So, that’s one thing to consider as well in terms of what you’re building out internally versus subscribing to an API for.

Yuri: Yeah, absolutely, provider search is one of the most dynamically changing areas in healthcare products and there is a number of APIs, number of products out there that you can integrate with to make sure that you keep on top of all the changes there and by the same token provide the best service to your patients when they’re booking.

Craig: Yeah.

Moderator: Thanks guys.

Craig: Thank you.