Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Blogs > Web Design & Development > Usability

Blog Posts about Usability

RSS Feed Subscribe  RSS details

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

To DRM or not to DRM ebooks?

By Nancy Aldrich-RuenzelMar 1, 2010

Forgive me for this superficial analogy, but sometimes I feel like our daily ever-vigilant efforts to stop ebook piracy are akin to my trying to pull up the bermuda grass in my backyard. I can yank up all the weeds I see, but the runners have already spread underground, and new weeds will pop up tomorrow in other areas of my lawn.

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

Why is content strategy so late to the party?

By Nancy Aldrich-RuenzelSep 3, 2009

When I sat in on Kristina Halvorson's session, titled "Content Strategy for the Web" at our most recent New Riders Voices That Matter Web Design Conference here in San Francisco, I was blown away by several things: 1. how late to the party this key topic has been to Internet discourse; 2. how little this topic is understood; and 3. most tragic, how few have started using it yet. But her talk convinced me that this area is about to explode and Website stakeholders are finally starting to get it.
Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

Are we losing control of our Web designs?

By Nancy Aldrich-RuenzelAug 20, 2009

The Web doesn't constrain us to the physical limitations of print on paper, author Zoe Mickley Gillenwater, of Flexible Web Design, reminds us. It's not print design. If you are a designer who is used to controlling every pixel in a fixed-width Web page layout, you're in denial about how much flexibility you can build in to your pages to make them user-friendlier.

Jason Teague

Everyone is a Web Designer

By Jason Cranford TeagueAug 10, 2009

Q: What is a Web Designer anymore? It was easier to make Web sites all by yourself, even 5 years ago, but now there is just too much technology for one person to handle. If I want to make a Web site for a very small business, don't have I to be web "developer" now?

The short answer is that everybody is a Web designer now.

The slightly longer answer is that Web designers are practitioners of a highly specialized discipline that requires years of study to truly master.

The long answer is that a good Web designer is a good designer, and this can come “naturally” or from training, but is not medium-dependent. However, a professional Web designer has to understand the medium well enough to know its strengths and limitations. Any designer can pump out something that looks brilliant when displayed in a Web browser window, but is slow to load, static when loaded, and completely unusable.

Jason Teague

Ask me, ask me, ask me

By Jason Cranford TeagueJul 1, 2009

Do you have a question about Web standards, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, interaction design, user experience, or Web typography? Maybe you just want to know "How'd they do that?" Ask me questions, and each week I will select a question to answer via my Peachpit.com blog.

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

Designers (aka user activists) can change the world

By Nancy Aldrich-RuenzelMay 27, 2009

I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by and inspired by creative professionals my entire career. As a result of the sum of those experiences, I feel as passionately about the core principles of visual communications as practicing creatives do. Yes, creatives value aesthetics. Yes, they value inventiveness over stylization—but not at the expense of functionality. They are thoughtful, smart business professionals who value communication of real meaning over decoration.

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

Lite vs. Heavy DRM: Customers are voting with their dollars

By Nancy Aldrich-RuenzelMay 20, 2009

I’m not usually a big fan of Lawrence Lessig, the well-known author and Stanford professor of law who has long been associated with the “information wants to be free” movement. I’m sure you’ve run across him; he’s the one who sends some authors and publishers screaming from the room. But I surrender to one key piece of advice he gives all content creators in his latest book, Remix: “If you don’t want your stuff stolen, make it easily available.”

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

Music, designers, and the Nashville Voices That Matter Web Design Conference

By Nancy Aldrich-RuenzelApr 24, 2008

Why are so many designers and creatives also musicians?

Laura Ross

Krug and Nielsen in The New York Times

By Laura RossFeb 19, 2008

Top-selling New Riders' authors Steve Krug and Jakob Nielsen were quoted last week  in The New York Times article "Small Companies Are Finding a Home on the Web."