Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points” as Want to Read:
Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Defensive design is like defensive driving brought to the Web. Good site defense can make or break the customer experience. This book shows the right (and wrong) ways to get defensive, offers guidelines to prevent errors and rescue customers if a breakdown occurs.It also shows you how to evaluate and improve your own site's defensive design.
Paperback, 246 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by New Riders Publishing (first published January 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Defensive Design for the Web, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Defensive Design for the Web

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  336 ratings  ·  16 reviews

Sort order
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Smart, practical guidelines for designing web sites and web applications.

The book is broken down into structured guidelines that are both easy to read and reference. While this book was written in 2004, the guidelines hold up surprisingly well.

It's uncited and does little to refer to their own end user and A/B testing, which is odd for 37signals-- but the insights are easy to agree with, while in a few instances you'll note that the web has moved into a contradictory direction (it's odd seeing
Mikulas Dite
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: en
Although this book tries to be easy to comprehend and the main rules are repeated all over the book, it would be a lot clearer if the examples were in color. Even a little experienced UI designer will learn nothing new from this book, I've however found a nice tip or two. Examples are sometimes quite old and many recommended solutions were outdated.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
- Good, would be handy to have on bookshelf as reference material
- Covered everything you'd need for contingency design - comprehensive, whilst being concise
- Plenty of examples but it did get a bit repetitive at times
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, own, keep, design
All of these guidelines seem so simple to follow and I can see how these would really have a positive impact on customer experience. Every guideline was backed up with examples of websites that were doing things right or wrong. A great read for anyone working with websites!
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
simple and effectively timeless points
Alwyn Velasquez
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading this in conjunction to the Web Anatomy book-a full comment will follow once I finish it.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: digital-strategy
Interesting dive into interaction design challenges; a good companion guide for example when defining and testing use cases.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: web professionals
Breaks down an often overlooked part of web design and development. What do you do when things on a site go wrong...
Ryan Parman
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Very useful, very impactful. Not nearly enough people pay attention to contingency design, and this book brings it all to the forefront. Highly recommended.
May 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ux-ia-ixd-ucd, web
Straightforward book on making sure a website user can get out of bind through well-categorized, to-the-point guidelines, supported by good and bad examples. Great as a design reference.

Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good book on how to surface errors, how to prevent them, and how to avoid lost $$ from bad web design.
Ates Goral
Apr 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Usually giving redundant examples to emphasize simple points. A seasoned web developer would be aware of 80% of what's mentioned in this book. But it's a good refresher after all.
Marcus Lira
Jan 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web-design
Yet another good book on usability.
May 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Easy to read with many examples (same as Letting Go of the Words). Some of the reading is cut-and-dry, though, so can be boring if you're not familiar with the terms.
rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2016
rated it it was ok
Dec 30, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2017
rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2012
rated it liked it
Nov 28, 2016
Ann Glenn
rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 30, 2013
Vlad Golovach
rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2013
Lukasz Strzalkowski
rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2010
Susumu Miyakawa
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2013
rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2016
Muhamad N Jaff
rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2019
Dylan Lindgren
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design
  • Prioritizing Web Usability
  • Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions
  • Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS
  • Designing With Web Standards
  • Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
  • Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
  • Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design
  • Designing Web Navigation
  • Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests
  • Forms That Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability
  • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
  • Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design
  • Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data
  • The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
  • A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web
  • Designing Social Interfaces
  • Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »