A List Apart

Issue № 359

The best digital products are human—in content and in design. Learn to keep it real with product discovery and fluff-free content.

Usable yet Useless: Why Every Business Needs Product Discovery

by Rian van der Merwe · 5 Comments

Brasília is a remarkable, bizarre city. An architectural gem built to be Brazil’s “shiny citadel,” it’s now known as a violent, crime-ridden, and congested city—because the architects who designed it weren’t thinking about the millions of people who would live there. This myopia echoes across today’s web landscape as well, where we see monuments erected not for their users, but for the people who built them—and the VCs who are scouting them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Rian van der Merwe shows us how to discover before we build.

Being Real Builds Trust

by Steph Hay · 28 Comments

Tons of products and services are the best, easiest, simplest, smartest things ever. They also all increase profits, decrease costs, and save you time. And as a result, they all sound the same. These kinds of qualifiers overrun our content because we’re constantly looking around at what everyone else is doing, rather than being honest about who we are. But trust inspires confidence, and it’s confidence that compels decision-making. Steph Hay shows us how to win customers by being real with our content.

More from A List Apart


Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

The Analog Revolution

Back in the day, when software was released (on physical media), it was considered done. In the present, some products could benefit from a limitation like that. To tie development to something immutable, such as a physical thing or a hard deadline, might just foster a sense of responsibility to design our product so it has what it takes to last a few years.

From the Blog

It’s Time We #FEDtalk

One person focuses on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Another writes JavaScript tests all day. And they both have the same job title: front-end developer. Mat Marquis talks about why that’s okay, and introduces our latest event, "The State of Front-End Dev."

Writing to Think

It's true, writing about your work can be tough. Putting your thoughts out there for everyone to see—and comment on—can be intimidating. But, as Susan Robertson shows, it's a great way to clarify your thinking on tough problems, and can lead to new opportunities in the process.