- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (March 12, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 073571410X
- ISBN-13: 978-0735714106
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,198,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help, forms, and other crisis points 1st Edition
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About the Author
Chicago-based 37signals (www.37signals.com) is a team of web design and usability specialists dedicated to simple, and usable, customer-focused design. 37signals popularized the concept of contingency/defensive design in various articles and white papers and via the web site DesignNotFound.com. The team also has conducted workshops and presentations on the topic for a variety of conferences and companies.
37signals clients include Microsoft, Qwest, Monster.com, Clear Channel, Panera Bread, Meetup, Performance Bike, and Transportation.com. Work has been featured in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Washington Post, on CNN, and in numerous other publications. Team members have appeared as featured speakers at AIGA Risk/Reward, Activ8, South By Southwest, HOW Design Conference, ForUse, and other conferences. Additional information can be found at www.37signals.com.This book is authored by Matthew Linderman with Jason Fried. Other members of the 37signals team include Ryan Singer and Scott Upton.
Top customer reviews
It's too bad that this book (on design, of all things) had to be presented in such a cheap-looking book. The heavy black sections of the chapter headings are washed out, and the text inside the graphics (e.g., dialog boxes, pull-down menus) is hard to read. The book text itself is easy enough to read. In all, the whole thing was obviously produced on a printer that uses some sort of toner (and not enough of it!), rather than good old traditional offset printing.
In all, the book is still worth reading, and I'd still recommend it. It's just a little disappointing that one of my favorite reasons for buying dead-tree versions of books--the look and feel of the book itself--is a little lacking with this one.
The authors provide adequate examples of the right and not-quite-right ways websites handle the specific issues they discuss.
A helpful supplement to this book would be a "Hands On" practical guide with code examples and resources for implementing methods they discuss. For example, the authors suggest highlighting fields on a web form when the user inputs incorrect data. While there are numerous ways to implement this and many on-line resources, it would be helpful to know how the authors (a.k.a., the experts) prefer to implement these techniques.
If you're a novice or intermediate website developer, you'll find this book enlightening. If you're an experienced developer with some familiarity and practice with web usability principles, you may not learn anything new from the book, but nonetheless it will provide a good "refresher course." If you're involved in marketing/selling website development services, you should read this book because it will help you to build a case for improving existing websites.
I agree with some of the reviewers that it is very basic - but most people don't get the basics right! It's entertaining and enlightening and will quickly get you on the right path to providing a better user experience.
If you're more of a beginner, this book should be required reading. It covers lots of good info in a very easy to understand way.
This book does not delve into technical details, only usability principles and ideas. It's a short, easy read and will inspire you to create more usable websites.
I was looking for something comprehensive enough to allow me to make better informed decisions, even if the book didn't offer an example that is specific to my problem. This book is NOT that.