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Product Design for the Web: Principles of Designing and Releasing Web Products Paperback – November 8, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0321929037 ISBN-10: 0321929039 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (November 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321929039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321929037
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Randy J. Hunt is creative director at Etsy, where he leads a team of designers building web products and creating off-line experiences. Prior to joining Etsy, Hunt co-founded Supermarket, a curated design marketplace; founded Citizen Scholar Inc.; and worked at both Milton Glaser Inc. and Number 17. Hunt writes and lectures about design and has been a visiting designer and critic at many colleges and universities. In 2009, he was named a New Visual Artist by Print. Hunt received his MFA in design from the School of Visual Arts.

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Customer Reviews

Randy presents the topics in this book in a very easy to follow progression.
MaeFourth
Randy talks about how to design the whole product experience, looking at design from every aspect; from UX to customer support to software development methodology.
Charlie
He does include some stories from his time at Etsy and other products like Evernote and Facebook, but I would have loved to see more.
Jason Y. Shen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The strength of this book is really, no surprise, when Hunt is talking about product design itself. He has some insightful things to say about iterative design, how to approach it and measure it and how to manage change so as not to overwhelm the user. To Hunt, product design means embarrassing constant change and he does a good job analyzing what this means.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of chapters, particularly in the second half, that deal with issues in a fairly superficial way. For example, there are chapters on engineering corners like performance and management concerns like leading and inspiring teams that, while relevant, would seem better addressed by more focused books on those topics.

If you are starting out in web product design, then these topics, even in gloss, may prove valuable in giving you a view of the field, but if you are an experienced designer then you've probably encountered this stuff already. However, Hunt's insights into how to use analytical and iterative processes to sculpt a design are still worth while.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MaeFourth on December 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Product Design for the Web” does an excellent job of touching on all aspects of a modern web application and how viewing your application as a “product” can help to make proper design choices. I’m a programmer who is more often involved in making choices regarding backend objects, but it was enlightening to read about how a designer views a large web product and the numerous sources of input that should be considered. In particular, the 3rd section (“Get It Built”), does a great job in describing patterns and practices that I’ve seen in work well in modern web companies, but haven’t really seen put clearly into writing before.

Randy presents the topics in this book in a very easy to follow progression. His writing style should be accessible to any reader, even those without a design or technical back ground. For anyone who is part of a medium to large scale web application and is curious about getting into the mind of a designer, this is a book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mel Hogan on April 7, 2014
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Full of memorable quotes and real world experience, this book should be read by product teams everywhere. Randy takes the principles of product design and applies them to the web. A great companion book to the inmates are running the asylum.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Floris Dekker on February 16, 2014
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This book was a pleasure to read and written in such a way that it feels like Randy is speaking to you himself. Because of this it gives something much more valuable then just an introduction to this field; it gives a perspective.

Besides this book being a great read for seasoned web product designers, I highly recommend this book to beginning web product designers and established designers who want to move into this field (if you are coming from backgrounds like print or physical product design). Reading this will give you a thorough understanding of all the challenges and aspects involved and will help you understand skill sets that you need to develop and invest in.

If you're not a designer but work in an organization with an online product, this book will give you a critical understanding of the role and value that design can have in your organization.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie on January 25, 2014
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I got a lot from reading Product Design for the Web. Randy talks about how to design the whole product experience, looking at design from every aspect; from UX to customer support to software development methodology. This book also brought my attention to and put definition around various design aspects which, as a programmer, I hadn't give too much thought to. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and recommended to anyone who builds software.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Y. Shen on January 12, 2014
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This book should be required reading for every manager who is involved in decisions about a company's web products.

In clear, accessible language, Randy walks us through the principles, practices, and pitfalls involved with developing web applications. He describes a philosophy of "release early, release often" and "everything in flux, nothing is sacred" and more importantly, explains why this approach is effective.

There's a breakdown of the types of web products, the different roles and skills necessary for building those products, when and how to gather feedback, crafting a vision for your product, managing product teams both small and large, and many more things. As a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, I've read many of these ideas and techniques before, but never in such an integrated and organized fashion.

My only, minor, wish was that Randy included more examples. He does include some stories from his time at Etsy and other products like Evernote and Facebook, but I would have loved to see more.
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