Save yourself years of design mistakes
January 11, 2013
Why you should read "Designing Web Applications" by Nathan Barry
Are you designing a web app? We partnered with Nathan Barry to teach Sumo-lings what it takes to plan, create, and run a successful web app. This book is best for any web developer or for designers with less than 5 years experience.
Here’s a peek at just a few of the things you’ll learn:
Wireframing is the single most important task when designing a web app.
We’re big on wireframing at AppSumo. It’s what helps you understand the core user experience and provides a framework for making product decisions. Simply put: wireframing makes it easy to visualize your app before putting the time and effort into creating it.
My personal trick for wireframing:
For the first wireframes, use a really fat marker and draw abstract shapes. Once the layout and flow of the product are nailed down, bring out a pen and sketch in the fine details. Avoid writing words as much as you can.
Remember: Focus on simplicity and design for efficiency. We’re designing web apps; something the customer will come back to use over and over. Make it easy, even enjoyable, to use!
Here's a wireframe from my desk that no one outside of AppSumo has seen:
Examples, examples, examples.
When I was still a rookie, I’d try and use popovers, animations, and fancy glossy styles wherever I could find a spot for them. Years later I know they are best used subtly.
I also used to focus intensely on the homepage design and assume the internal designs would sort themselves out from there; wow, so wrong. These days, the homepage is the last thing I design because the internals are so important in the user experience.
Nathan does a great job explaining when, and more importantly, when NOT to use certain interface elements or design practices. Tons of this knowledge can only be learned from years and years of hard-earned experience designing web applications and making the “rookie” mistakes. That’s huge.
I’d pay $19 to save those years of mistakes.
Adding style & polish to your web app
Typography is one of those dark arts; it seems simple until you try to learn. Every book or article throws too much new lingo and design philosophy at you.
Nathan’s "80% Approach" is a major gem in the book, teaching actionable methods to massively improve your typography without having to learn the minute intricacies of design.
Check out this before-and-after done just a few instructions:
Not convinced? Just check out a sample from the book here.
Here's what a couple of people who bought the book had to say:
I got my money's worth in the first 10 pages. Great work.
- Gus Nelson
Nathan’s approach to design makes creating easy-to-use web applications a straightforward process anyone can follow.
- Philip Alexander
Regularly, Nathan sells his book on his website for $39.
But, as usual, we had to make this special for you. Until midnight this Sunday, you can get his book here for only $19 (that's 50% off!).
This deal will be completely gone after midnight CST this Sunday.
You know our wireframe I showed you? Comment below and guess what we're building.