IDPs with poor user experience are doomed to failure

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User experience design is paramount to implementing an in-house developer platform, says Fernando Villalba. Senior Tech Evangelist at Humanitec.

In a comprehensive blog post detailing what good design and UX (user experience) mean, Fernando makes the most of these to create a user-friendly and widely adopted IDP. (internal developer platform), detailing how to build it. Fernando explains that Don Norman’s ideals of good design, discoverability and understandability, lead to good design that communicates the intended purpose of the tool to the user in the most intuitive way possible. increase.

He goes on to explain that IDPs should be designed to be safe and intuitive to use by most novices, and that design should focus on six key areas.

  • feature – Actions possible with the tool. A few well-designed major features are better than a lot of uncoordinated features.
  • signifier – Visual or other types of cues that help users use the IDP. However, it should only be used where intuitive design options are not available.
  • constraint – Guide users towards their goals by narrowing the scope of what is possible. This makes the IDP easier to navigate and less likely to use unwanted anti-patterns.
  • mapping – Organize peripheral features around core features to clarify how different features and properties relate to each other.
  • feedback – Make sure clear and definitive feedback is provided when actions are taken – Immediately indicate success or failure and highlight actionable next steps.
  • Conceptual model and language – Make your IDP’s language, design, and colors represent what your users are familiar with. For example, let green represent success and red represent failure.

Intuitive mapping example

Fernando devises and details eight principles of good design that will help you implement a good IDP.

  • No Bad Users, Only Bad Design – Designed to reduce and avoid human error and leverage computers to enhance creativity.
  • Teach design principles to all platform engineers – Since the user-facing elements of the IDP represent the backend, it is imperative that these backend engineers also understand the design principles.
  • Save your company time by spending more time on design – Take advantage of Tesler’s Law – spend a significant amount of extra time simplifying and improving the design rather than spending hundreds of users learning how to use an application with an unintuitive or arcane design is more efficient.
  • Understanding personas with IDPs – Find the balance for all personas that use your IDP and design all use cases. May expose or hide functionality based on permissions.
  • Aesthetics Matter — Aesthetic Usability Effect – It’s a negligible principle, but research suggests that beauty influences user ratings and enthusiasm, leading to higher adoption.
  • Abstraction is good, but be careful not to overdo it – Use conventions over settings to hide advanced options in an easy-to-find way, instead of abstracting all useful properties to keep the design clean.
  • Beware of Bad Design Stockholm Syndrome – Be aware of anti-patterns that occur when users become accustomed to poorly designed products and accept their weaknesses without trying to improve them.
  • learning from game design – Games that aren’t user-friendly tend to fail and need to be appealing by teaching them how to play the game in a sophisticated way. This principle applies equally to internally displaced persons.

The main point of this article is to emphasize how important UX design is in all areas of IDP. Providing an elegant solution that developers love is critical to IDP success, or not. Applying the principles is difficult, but learning them is an important first step in designing and implementing an IDP. Read the full article here.


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