Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design

Overview

Designing the Obvious belongs in the toolbox of every person charged with the design and development of Web-based software, from the CEO to the programming team. Designing the Obvious explores the character traits of great Web applications and uses them as guiding principles of application design so the end result of every project instills customer satisfaction and loyalty. These principles include building only whats necessary, getting users up to speed quickly, preventing and handling errors, and designing for ...
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Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web & Mobile Application Design

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Overview

Designing the Obvious belongs in the toolbox of every person charged with the design and development of Web-based software, from the CEO to the programming team. Designing the Obvious explores the character traits of great Web applications and uses them as guiding principles of application design so the end result of every project instills customer satisfaction and loyalty. These principles include building only whats necessary, getting users up to speed quickly, preventing and handling errors, and designing for the activity. Designing the Obvious does not offer a one-size-fits-all development process--in fact, it lets you use whatever process you like. Instead, it offers practical advice about how to achieve the qualities of great Web-based applications and consistently and successfully reproduce them.

This latest edition updates examples to show the guiding principles of application design in action on today's web, plus adds new chapters on strategy and persuasion. It offers practical advice about how to achieve the qualities of great Web-based applications and consistently and successfully reproduce them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321749857
  • Publisher: New Riders
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Series: Voices That Matter Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 293
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Hoekman, Jr, is a passionate and outspoken user experience specialist and a prolific writer who has written dozens of articles and has worked with Seth Godin (Squidoo), Adobe, Automattic, United Airlines, DoTheRightThing.com, and countless others.

He also gives in-house training sessions and has spoken at industry events all over the world, including An Event Apart, Web App Summit, SXSW, Future of Web Design, and many others.

Robert is the author of the Amazon bestseller Designing the Obvious and its follow-up, Designing the Moment. His newest book, Web Anatomy, was coauthored by Jared Spool.

Learn more about Robert at rhjr.net. He is "rhjr" on Twitter.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments x

Author Biography xi

Chapter 1 Defining the Obvious 3

What Is 'the Obvious'? 6

Qualities of a great application 8

How Do You Design the Obvious? 10

Turn qualities into goals 10

The Framework for Obvious Design 12

Know what to build 14

Know what makes it great 14

Know the best way to implement it 15

Chapter 2 Lead with Why, Follow with What 17

Know Your Motivation 19

What follows Why 22

Make Authentic Decisions 24

Audit the user experience 24

Define the vision 28

Plan the new design 31

Implement it 32

Measure everything 32

Having vision 34

Chapter 3 Ignore the User, Know the Situation 35

Designing for the User 37

Designing for the Activity 44

Solve for the Situation 47

Understand How Users Think They Do Things 55

Understand How Users Actually Do Things 57

Find Out the Truth 61

Contextual inquiry 63

Remote user research 66

Surveys 67

Write Use Cases 68

Task-flow diagrams 74

My advice 76

Chapter 4 Build Only What Is Absolutely Necessary 77

More features, More frustration 78

So what's a geek to do? 79

Think Different 80

The dashboard and New Invoice screen 81

The finished invoice 82

The result 83

Think Mobile 84

Hey, it's your life 87

Not present at time of photo 87

Drop Nice-to-Have Features 88

The Unnecessary Test 89

The 60-Second Deadline 90

Aim low 92

Interface Surgery 93

Reevaluate nice-to-have features later 98

Let them speak 99

Chapter 5 Support the User's Mental Model 101

Understanding mental models 103

Design for Mental Models 104

Making metaphors that work 107

Interface Surgery: Converting an implementation model design into a mental model design 111

Eliminate Implementation Models 119

Create wireframes to nail things down 119

Prototype the Design 127

Test It Out 130

Chapter 6 Turn Beginners into Intermediates, Immediately 139

Use Up-to-Speed Aids 141

Provide a welcome screen 145

Fill the blank slate with something useful 147

Give instructive hints 149

Interface Surgery: Applying instructive design 153

Choose Good Defaults 160

Integrate preferences 163

Design for Information 163

Card sorting 166

Stop Getting Up to Speed and Speed Things Up 168

Reuse the welcome screen as a notification system 169

Use one-click interfaces 170

Use design patterns to make things familiar 171

Provide Help Documents, Because Help Is for Experts 173

Chapter 7 Be Persuasive 175

Draw a Finish Line 176

Ownership 177

Solve a Significant Problem 178

Make It Explainable 180

Know Your Psychology 181

Reciprocity 181

Commitment and consistency 182

Social proof 184

Authority 185

Liking 186

Scarcity 187

Ethical persuasion 188

Chapter 8 Handle Errors Wisely 189

Prevent and Catch Errors with Poka-yoke Devices 191

Poka-yoke on the web 192

Prevention devices 193

Detection devices 195

Turn errors into opportunities 200

Feeling smart 202

Ditch Anything Modal 203

Redesigning rude behavior 204

Replace it with modeless assistants 205

Write Error Messages That Help Instead of Hurt 207

Interface Surgery 209

Create Forgiving Software 211

Good software promotes good practices 213

Chapter 9 Design for Uniformity, Consistency, and Meaning 217

Design for Uniformity 220

Be Consistent Across Applications 229

Understanding design patterns 230

Intelligent inconsistency 233

Leverage Irregularity to Create Meaning and Importance 234

Interface Surgery: Surfacing the bananas in a process 237

Chapter 10 Reduce and Refine 243

Cluttered task flows 244

The path to simplicity 245

Clean Up the Mess 246

Reducing the pixel-to-data ratio 247

Minimizing copy 248

Designing white space 251

Cleaning up task flows 255

Practice Kaizen 258

The 5S approach 259

Eliminate Waste 262

Cleaning up your process 263

Put Just-in-Time Design and Review to Work 265

Chapter 11 Don't Innovate When You Can Elevate 269

Innovation 270

The problem with innovative thinking 270

Elevation 272

Elevate the User Experience 272

Elevation is about being more polite 273

Elevation means giving your software a better personality 274

Elevation means understanding good design 276

Seek Out and Learn from Great Examples 277

Inspiration 278

Elevate the standards 278

Take Out All the Good Lines 279

Get in the Game 280

Index 283

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