Scott Boms

Designing for Emotion/Mobile First

The morning of October 18th (that’s today) brings not just one, but two new titles from the good people at A Book ApartDesigning for Emotion by Aarron Walter, and Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski. While both books are important in their own right, along with the previously released (and reviewed) Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte, they close the loop on a larger story about transforming the thinking behind how web, interactive media, and mobile apps are designed and created.

Designing for Emotion and Mobile First books
Designing for Emotion and Mobile First books from A Book Apart

The funny thing about the opportunity to review these books in advance is that as much as I might have a lot to say about them, my inclination is to let them speak for themselves. A lengthy review feels contrary to the spirit of the books themselves.

Instead, I’d like to make or reinforce a few observations about the series and it’s overarching relevance to designers, developers, content strategists, project managers, business executives, and everyone in between.

As with previous titles, HTML5 for Web Designers, CSS3 for Web Designers, and The Elements of Content Strategy, they paint an unapologetic picture of what the web could be and where those leading the charge are taking it. These books are ammunition.

Because I was already familiar with many of the ideas expressed throughout both books, what became evident was that I wasn’t the primary audience. Ultimately, the real readership is not the early adopters. Those people — myself included — don’t need convincing. Early adopters have already read the articles and blog posts, or heard Aarron and Luke speak on their respective topics. Nevertheless, I found myself nodding in agreement pretty much the entire way through both.

Newness of the content to early adopters aside, it’s the relevancy, timeliness, length, and quality of these books, and the time required to comfortably read them that positions them to hold the attention of clients, managers, executives, and other decision makers (and yes, your common design nerd); to convince those people to explore a new approach, to make the web more expressive, more beautiful, and more future friendly.

Should you pick up copies of one or both of these books? Yes. Should you pick up copies to share with a manager, client, or co-worker who’s less enlightened than you? Yes… yes you should.