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A book written by the members of the company, 37signals

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Common Sense Design for the Web

  • Mar 15, 2010
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Who is this resource appropriate for?

This book is great for anyone who is just learning UX and basic design principles or even for the more seasoned designer.  If you are looking to get into interface design, this book is a great resource of examples and best practices.

What other resources are similar?

Any of the 37siganls books are centered around common sense design and business processes.

Overall thoughts? Worth a read or not?

This book is a really quick read and can actually be used more for reference than an actual "sit down read".  The best part about this book is that even though it's a few years old, it still has relevant writings on the subject of rock solid web design.  From screenshots to simple iconography, this books makes it easy to grasp the basic principles and apply them in your own work.


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March 22, 2010
Sounds like a great book, Jason. I read bits of Getting Real online after seeing @andrewjt's review of it. If it's an easy read like that, I think I can dig it :P Thanks for sharing!
March 22, 2010
It's a quick read on a rainy Saturday. Enjoy!
March 22, 2010
Awesome. Thanks! :)
About the reviewer
Jason Wishard ()
Ranked #2
Member Since: Mar 15, 2010
Last Login: Jul 29, 2010 04:35 PM UTC
About this book


Let's admit it: Things will go wrong online. No matter how carefully you design a site, no matter how much testing you do, customers still encounter problems. So how do you handle these inevitable breakdowns? With defensive design. In this book, the experts at 37signals (whose clients include Microsoft, Qwest,, and Clear Channel) will show you how.

Defensive design is like defensive driving brought to the Web. The same way drivers must always be on the lookout for slick roads, reckless drivers, and other dangerous scenarios, site builders must constantly search for trouble spots that cause visitors confusion and frustration. Good site defense can make or break the customer experience.

In these pages, you'll see hundreds of real-world examples from companies like Amazon, Google, and Yahoo that show the right (and wrong) ways to get defensive. You'll learn 40 guidelines to prevent errors and rescue customers if a breakdown occurs. You'll also explore how to evaluate your own site's defensive design and improve it over the long term.

This book is a must read for designers, programmers, copywriters, and any other site decision-makers who want to increase usability and customer satisfaction.
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Books, Web Design, Interaction Design, Jason Fried, Matthew Linderman, 37signals


ISBN-10: 073571410X
ISBN-13: 978-0735714106
Author: Jason Fried, Matthew Linderman
Publisher: New Riders Press

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