What are triggered APIs and how can they help your web application? When Fossil built triggered APIs into their online eCommerce site and turned it on in the middle of March 2011 their stock doubled and tripled due to online web sales. Despite a Tsunami and manufacturing woes felt across the globe; Fossil continued to profit due to some ingenious scripting by their web development department. Fossil is one of the few companies out there that can boast that their online sales is 90% of their business and their retail a mere 10%. Ex-CEO of multiple Macy’s Divisions Leslie Ball said, “For a retail organization to be so web enabled is unheard of” and asked me to show him the financials before he would believe the hype.
So are you still wondering what triggered APIs are? They make your eCommerce web application even more user friendly than most. Based on how many people click and even buy an item you can set thresholds to bubble that item to the top of a section. For instance if Shania Twain wears a Fossil scarf at the Country Music Awards and suddenly 100,000 people go to Fossil.com then “Women”, then “Women’s Apparel” Section, “Scarves and Hats” Section, then they click on that scarf – we can bubble that up to the home page or the top of the Women’s section. (EX: Women > Women’s Apparel > Scarves & Hats > Scarf Shania Twain Wore?) That is a triggered API. Look at Fossil’s stock from simply turning the APIs on and you can see the benefits of applying the same dynamics to your eCommerce application. Why make a user dig for what they are looking for when you can see and identify a trend as it is happening and adjust for it. Gone are the days of static pages, we have the ability to make things dynamic and therefore more user responsive. The users are responding as well, they are buying faster and more than ever before. The sections are still there, but dynamic areas of a site are easily defined and can make the experience more gratifying to the users without an individual ever making changes to the code! Build it responsive, and you are building it right the first time. I can site a multitude of ways it can literally turn the fire hose on for your web application.
For instance using triggered API technology a web application used in hospitals can learn the specific things a nurse or doctor utilized in their web portal application. Each person in a hospital has a different job, and some hospitals have people doing multiple jobs. So by building in responsive web design we can make an application “learn” what the user wants and tailor the information to them specifically. So a radiologist only sees those applications on the portal they use after they utilize the site a few times, while a nurse who does oncology and labs sees only those areas. By customizing and tailoring the experience for the users, you increase their productivity and they get their jobs done faster not having to hunt and peck for what they want. Administrators can quickly see the statistics they want and utilize the most. These are just a few examples of responsive triggered API design. I truly believe this is the next generation in usability design. I can’t talk more about how it needs to be a part of the conversation you have when designing your site. What areas can we make responsive? How can we make the user’s experience better? This is not a new concept, but it is a little asked question that needs to be put out there when you consider a redesign or building from the ground up.