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

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  312 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)
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Mikal
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
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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 Examples are sometimes quite old and many recommended solutions were outdated.
Pia
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
Liz
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, design, keep, non-fiction
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!
michel
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.
Ed
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.
Bryan
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.
Murray
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.

John
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.
Helene
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.
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  • Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design
  • Prioritizing Web Usability
  • Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design
  • Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
  • Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions
  • Designing With Web Standards
  • Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
  • Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS
  • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
  • Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices
  • The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
  • Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests
  • Designing Web Navigation
  • Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research
  • Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data
  • Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
  • The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web
  • Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics

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