Defensive Design by 37signals provides 40 guidelines to help visitors get back on track incase “shit” happens. The book takes a different approach on usability by showing how to turn a crisis situation into a positive experience. The 40 guidelines will help readers create bulletproof forms to avoid frustration, design the 404 page incase they mistype the URL, handle unavailability products by telling them upfront and provide alternatives, use appropriate language that they can understand, craft relevant information when they perform a search, offer help and get out of their way when “shit” happens.
Defensive Design provides invaluable resources by focusing on simple and straightforward contents. Each guideline is not only clearly explained but also backs up with real world examples. The book points out both good and bad sites with careful explanations to show how they had failed or succeeded so readers can learn from the good and avoid the bad.
Defensive Design is a must read for anyone who works on the web. The last chapter alone deserves the price for this book. It gives readers a checklist to test out their own site by applying the 40 guidelines. This precious little book will help bring in tremendous profits and pleasant web experiences. Thanks to the guys at 37signals for this incredible work.