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Issue № 337

Inject life, joy, and personality into your sites and apps, and organize your content for better mobile experiences with excerpts from two new A Book Apart books.

Personality in Design

by Aarron Walter · 22 Comments

Personality is the mysterious force that attracts us to certain people and repels us from others. Because personality greatly influences our decision-making process, it can be a powerful tool in design. In an exclusive excerpt from his spanking new book Designing For Emotion, Aarron Walter shows us how to create a strong human connection in human-computer interaction by turning our design interactions into conversations, imbuing mechanical "interactions" with distinctively human elements, and using design and language techniques to craft a living personality for your website.

Organizing Mobile

by Luke Wroblewski · 14 Comments

When organizing content and actions on mobile, solid information architecture principles like clear labeling, balanced breadth and depth, and appropriate mental models remain important. But the organization of mobile web experiences must also align with how people use their mobile devices and why; emphasize content over navigation; provide relevant options for exploration and pivoting; maintain clarity and focus; and align with mobile behaviors. In this exclusive excerpt from his new book, Mobile First!, Luke Wroblewski explains how to do all that.

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Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

Why?

Little kids have an endless supply of Why! Why is everything the way it is? Why do people do the things they do? We grownups don’t pester each other with a relentless stream of why?, and that’s mostly good. But kids could teach us to ask why when it needs to be asked: why are only some people able to build lives they love and find fulfilling work? Does everyone truly have the same chance, or do some of us start the game already a few rolls of the dice ahead? In order to grow, we have to ask the hard questions.

From the Blog

Context Makes Our Devices

When it comes to new devices, context is everything. Smartphones and tablets gained popularity because they were useful in situations where our laptops weren't. Will smartwatches do the same? Anthony Colangelo looks at the context of these new devices and how they might reach their full potential.

Accepting Our Lack of Control

Accepting the “ebb and flow of things” is as challenging today as it was 15 years ago. Susan Robertson explores what it means to accept our lack of control on the web and shares how she acknowledges this in her work—from the CSS she writes, to the conversations she has with team members.