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Design for Real Life


You can’t always predict who will use your products, or what emotional state they’ll be in when they do. But by identifying stress cases and designing with compassion, you’ll create experiences that support more of your users, more of the time.

Join Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer as they turn examples from more than a dozen sites and services into a set of principles you can apply right now. Whether you’re a designer, developer, content strategist, or anyone who creates user experiences, you’ll gain the practical knowledge to test where your designs might fail (before you ship!), vet new features or interactions against more realistic scenarios, and build a business case for making decisions through a lens of kindness. You can’t know every user, but you can develop inclusive practices that support a wider range of people. This book will show you how.

Design for Real Life

What People Are Saying

The only user scenarios that matter are our users’ real lives. In this courageous and compassionate book, full of wisdom and methods not collected anywhere else, Eric and Sara guide us through scenarios previously in the dark.
Liz Danzico, Creative Director at NPR
Kurt Vonnegut said that there was only one rule: ‘You’ve got to be kind.’ This book is what happens when two people apply that rule to building great digital products. It’s about building interfaces that are truly, genuinely human. Anyone who aspires to build global products that people love should read this book now.
Paul Ford, Co-Founder of Postlight
This book is so needed. The methods and techniques Sara and Eric share will improve your design and writing processes—and more important, will change the way you think about your users. Other books tell you how to design for idealized personas, but this one shows you how to design and write for actual humans. It will be required reading on my team.
Kate Kiefer Lee, Communications Director at MailChimp

About the Authors

Eric A. Meyer started working on the web in late 1993. Since then, he’s been a college webmaster, one of the original CSS Samurai, a standards evangelist at Netscape, the author of many books and online resources, an occasional code artist, the technical lead at Rebecca’s Gift, and a co-founder of An Event Apart. He lives with his family in Cleveland.

Sara Wachter-Boettcher runs a content strategy consultancy based in Philadelphia, where she works with clients like Trek Bicycles, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Associated Press, and Harvard. She is also the author of Content Everywhere, a book about creating flexible, mobile-ready content, and a past editor-in-chief of A List Apart.

Preview for Design for Real Life
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Original Publication Date:
March 8, 2016