While on my Peru Trip earlier this year, I read a great book called Product Design for the Web: Principles of Designing and Releasing Products for the Web.
As one of two interaction designers who joined Etsy in 2010, Randy Hunt, now creative director, has written the book on best practices of product development for successful modern-day Internet companies. I highly recommend it.
I sat down with Randy recently to learn more about his perspective on product design. But before I jump into that conversation, here’s a brief look at some of the big ideas from the book:
Takeaways From Product Design for The Web By Randy Hunt
Note: these are not direct quotes but pretty close paraphrases
- Great products are understandable (set expectations and live up to them) and meaningful (help people solve problems or accomplish goals) and, hopefully, delightful
- It can be helpful to reimagine your product spec as a press release defining what the update is, who it is for and why it matters
- Watch and observe people because what they say they do is often very different from their actual behavior
- Design flows, not screens — when users complete a task (like signing up), make sure there are pathways for them to continue down (discover new products, find friends, etc)
- Reward users with success from the earliest possible interaction. Reward what you want repeated.