Developer Experience

My best blog posts and examples on this topic

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social posts
video

Vercel feature video on Linkedin

I like how they use the black dot to show the mouse movements in the UI.

Simple but powerful and clear.

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social posts

Vercel product announcement on Linkedin

I like the simplicity of this announcement.

What: "Vercel Edge Middleware"

Why: "Start delivering dynamic, personalized content without sacrificing end-user performance."

Visual supports this but is super minimal.

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design

Header design from Iterative.ai

I love this simple design.

They show:

  • A GIF of code and console
  • Have a few tabs with features, explained
  • Social proof with Github stars

Nice simple and powerful imho.

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copy

Axiom "Playground" CTA

With infrastructure tools, it is notoriously difficult to show people the value quickly.

To really see it they would need to set up everything at their company infra, create dashboards for their use case, and so on. 

A lot of work.

That is why creating a sandbox experience is a good way of giving people a taste.

I like the way Axiom calls it a playground and says "Play with Axiom" and "Launch playground".

This copy is good because:

  • they acknowledge it isn't a real thing (but a playground)
  • it conveys that it will be interactive and you'll be able to click around
  • it makes it feel like less work and more, well play :)
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design

GitHub Repository Readme.md design from Prisma

I like how it has a proper "hero section" feel to it but it adds a developer-focused twist:

  • Explains in simple words what the tool is
  • Adds a lot of navigational links (website, docs, examples, blog)
  • Then it goes on to detail about what it does

The rest of the Readme is great as well but the hero section is gold imho.

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design

Great article in-text CTA from DigitalOcean

Adding CTA in dev-focused articles is hard.

You don't want to be too pushy, but you do want to get conversions.

DigitalOcean strikes a great balance with their in-text article CTA design.

They make this CTA look like an info box that you'd typically see in the documentation.

It is clear that it is a Digital Ocean CTA but it doesn't feel pushy.

It feels like a piece of potentially useful information.

Love it.

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design

Newsletter subscribe CTA on Interrupt blog

I like that this is both strong and subtle.

It comes right after I've delivered a smell of value with a technical intro.

And I can see that there is more value to come after thanks to the table of contents.

The CTA itself feels like an info box in the docs rather than a typical subscribe CTA.

Good stuff.

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copy

Great developer-focused CTAs from Plaid

Action-focused copy is usually better than "sign up".

But sometimes it is hard to find a good copy for this.

Some teams like Vercel or Auth0  do "Start building "  

But that doesn't always work.

I really like this "Get API keys" CTA copy.

Now for the Hero section I really like those two CTAs:

  • Main CTA: Sign up, again expressed with action-focused "Get API keys" copy
  • Secondary CTA: See docs, I like how "See API docs" makes it even more concrete.

Really great job imho.

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design

Before / After design from AhoyConnect

Very nice design solution on the homepage.

Classic communication of the world before using your tool and the world after.

Really liked how it felt messy before.

And is nice and clean after.

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design

Hand-drawn tutorial video style from Robusta

I really love this hand-drawn feel.

It makes it super authentic.

Also, starting from scratch (not a ready diagram) makes following it more fun and less overwhelming.

Great stuff.

BTW the tool used for this is called excalidraw.com

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design

Auth0 registration form

I like how it adresses the main developer concern.

Can I try it out now with zero commitment.

Yeah.

Start building with a free plan.

And I don't have to put that credit card in.

Basic, I know, but I like how it communicates clearly.

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design

Auth0 developer portal: How it works diagram

Show how product components fit together.

A good diagram is such a good solution to that.

They use the same colors and eyebrow copy that was used for body sections.
It all clicks now, I get the full picture.

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design

Auth0 developer portal Getting started cross-section

This body cross-section is just awesome.

It makes it obvious that I can connect it to my workflow.

This is a must for dev-focused pages imho.

What I like:

- there are many integrations listed

- I can see the code and that it is easy to use

- The CTA is to integration docs, awesome!

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design

Auth0 developer portal hero section visual

I love that it is static and it blurs everything I don't need to get the concept.

For the dev audience, static graphics, when done well, are better than

  • videos
  • screenshots
  • or happy faces of happy customers :)

Tell me what you do in 1 sec, not 60

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copy
design

Auth0 developer portal Hero section CTAs

There are three CTAs actually.

Common knowledge suggests doing one, maybe two, they do 3:

  • build
  • see docs
  • see examples

Devs want relevant and practical.

Also, devs love docs and examples and check them before signing up.

Action-focused copy is great as well.

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copy
design

The header copy of Auth0 developers portal

I love this copy. It answers:

  • what it does -> "authentication and authorization"
  • how is it different -> "simple to implement, easy to extend"

It doesn't talk about the value as it is obvious to devs.

Obviously, it will save time and make things safer.

Don't talk about it.

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campaigns
design
copy

VS page format from Ably

Vs pages are a classic SaaS marketing.

But I like how Ably adjusts them to the developer audience:

  • For each criterion, they say why it matters
  • They link to their resources to extend further why Ably works great there
  • They use a lot of developer jargon to make it feel like a dev wrote it for devs
  • They go over a lot of different categories to make this comparison deep enough to be valuable for the buyer
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video

Streamlit explainer video

Streamlit has an amazing explainer.

They show how to go from:

  • Writing your first line of code
  • To creating data dashboard
  • To deploying it across the web

In 42 seconds.

No audio, just code and a simplified result window.

Amazing stuff.

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design
copy

Hero section CTA from Cypress.io

That CTA.

You go straight for the install/download.

I don't know if you can go more developer-focused than that.

It sets the tone for the entire homepage.

And let's be honest (almost) nobody actually clicks that "Sign up" button in the hero section.

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design

Updates modal from Discord

Modal with updates.

Adding a modal with "what happened lately" for users who come back to the app.

Good idea for re-activating users by showing new features or examples.

+ a link to a deeper resource.

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design

Sandbox experience from Sentry.io

This is a sandbox experience folks over at Sentry.io created.

I like the navbar CTAs with a big "Documentation" button in there.

Reminds me that I can go and see it when I need it.

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design

"Star us on GitHub" navbar design from Supabase

A nice example of making navbar more developer-focused.

Ask for GitHub stars with a link to the repository.

It does three things:

  • shows where your repository is and that you have something I can see
  • lets me see that you have a popular repository
  • reminds me that I can star it (if I am a returning user)
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design

Multi-tab GIF cross section website design from Supabase

I like the design of this crosshead.

  • Starts with the gif to catch my attention
  • When tabs change the copy, CTA, gif change
  • The figs have a nice click cursor that shows what I am doing
  • CTA is very "silent", non-intrusive
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copy

Header copy from Supabase

Say what you do and how you do it.

What:

  • Supabase owns it with an "open-source firebase alternative"
  • They don't streamline project delivery or anything. 

How:

  • Value proposition around speed of set up
  • Then jargon that hits the spot with your ideal developers
  • Short, and to the point. 

CTA (bonus):

  • "Start your project" action-focused
  • Documentation. With devs, this is always a good alternative CTA
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design
copy

Subtle GitHub CTA in navbar from Aporia

Linked GitHub logo in the navbar

Adding CTA to your GitHub repo makes your company look more dev-friendly.

If you have a ton of stars I'd show those as well to play that social proof card.

But even without it, I think it's a good way to get more traffic to your repo and get those stars :)

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design

Cross over design for homepage from TailwindCSS

I love the design of this crossover section on the Tailwind homepage.

I see the code and the result next to each other.

I see how I can get that result with code.

It is interactive and catches my attention.

It makes me feel inspired.

Great job Tailwind team!

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design

Social proof from TailwindCSS homepage

Understand who is reading. Add social proof that speaks to them.

Social proof is about showing people/companies who are similar to the reader that they got success with the tool.

Company logos can be good if your reader knows and likes those companies.
But if those are random companies, I am not sure how much value does it bring.

Devs care what other devs who use your product have to say about it.
That's why I like testimonials.

Not the crafted, clean ones with features and values.
But the real stuff. Real devs sharing real stories.

Bonus points for "Okay, I get the point" button copy.
It changes from "Show more" when you click.

Nice!

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video

Save time video format from Stoplight

How do you show "save time" to devs?

It is often hard as it is not objective.

But there are options.

Spotlight does it beautifully by showing two implementations next to each other solving the same task.
It is obvious which is faster and saves time.
Great stuff!

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design

Mongodb for developers section

Good in-place code pattern.

I can go and see different code snippets without moving to other parts of the website.

At the same time, I can read explanations and value propositions.

I like how "view documentation" is such a strong CTA with so much going on here already.

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design

Star us CTA on GitHub repo from Nhost

It's a proper "star a repo" CTA !

It shows how many people have done this already.
I am less afraid to star some crazy repo and feel like a shmuck.

It shows what to do to start it :)

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design

Auth0 developers portal header

Great above the fold

The subheader explains the value proposition.

Header handles major objections:

  • is it easy to implement?
  • can I extend it?

Then we have 3 CTAs but they are super focused on devs: 

  • Signup (using action-focused copy)
  • See docs which is exactly what many devs want to do before signing up
  • See examples, again exactly what most devs want to see before signing up

Then it goes on to explain how it works with a simple, static graphic.

This whole thing makes me feel peaceful.

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video

Explainer video from Algolia

Great flow of the explainer. 

Starts with the outcome "Build search UX".

Goes straight to code and 1-2-3-results format. 

Explains every snippet of code as it is added.

Ends with a nicely presented result: a working search on a website.

No voiceover just code and screenshots.

And it's only 45 sec !!!

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video

General audience explainer video from Auth0

Handing #1 dev obstacle: "We can do it ourselves".

Check it out from second 0:35:

"I bet you're like
We can do it ourselves, it's not that hard.
We know what we're doing.

First, I hear you.
Second, are you sure?"

This is mastery.
Pointing out ignorance without alienating people.

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design

Algolia developer portal design

Devs are builders.

Make your home page for builders.
Go directly into the "how" instead of the way.
Many devs when they land on your home page, already know the "why".

I love that it:

  • shows the step-by-step right away in the hero
  • CTAs are links to integrations with particular frameworks and libraries
  • the hero copy is very toned-down