Are you scratching your head wondering why people sign up for your application, but never come back?

It's not that you set out to create a poorly designed product, but lots of mistakes—big or small—along the way left you with an interface that meets the feature requirements, but is painful to use.

Nathan’s approach to design makes creating easy-to-use web applications a straight-forward process anyone can follow. - Philip Alexander, Designer at Tsheets

So what now? Hire a designer to fix it for you?

I think you can learn to fix it yourself. Undo those mistakes one at a time to create an experience that your customers won't notice. Wait… what? Yes, I said an experience they won't notice. Frustration and confusion get noticed. Completing a task quickly and easily doesn't.

Great experiences feel effortless. The extra steps are cut out. Designs are clear, buttons are easy to find. The process will go so smoothly that the customers won't think anything of it.

That's good.

That means your customers are using your application to get work done without having to think about it. Without feeling confused and frustrated. That's the kind of product they can recommend to friends and co-workers.

In Designing Web Applications I'll teach you a process to identify problem points, plan solutions, and add a layer of polish that will make your product shine. No matter what your role is in the application development process, you can apply these ideas to make a great product.

Convinced? Jump straight to the packages.

Designing Web software is different than designing websites

If you approach both the same way your software will be painful to use.

  • facebook
  • freshbooks
  • mailchimp

Basecamp, Freshbooks, MailChimp, and Facebook all have different interface design needs than a traditional marketing website.

  • Design for repeat use

    A website is visited once or twice by a single user, and maybe more often if it has frequently updated content. A web application, on the other hand, can be visited dozens of times per day, meaning you need to focus on designing for efficiency.

  • Complex Interactions

    Often web applications have complex interactions that need to be simplified for the user. This is not normally a problem on marketing websites, where the main interactions are simply reading or watching content.

  • Task completion

    Business software is only used because it helps people complete tasks. They have a job to do and they want to get in and get out. It is critical that you design for these different flows to make your user's job as easy as possible.

Designing an Application Flow

The quickest possible route.

Learn not only how to optimize for the
fewest clicks, but also for a mental model
that is quick to understand.

Learn to Follow a Design Process

Take an idea from rough sketches to a polished interface.

When designing a web application, it is critical that you focus on
user experience before you start styling the application.

sketch wireframe polished-title polished

Download a Sample

Get a better idea of what is included with the book.

The sample sections are from different parts of the book covering everything from how to handle autosaving to working with lighting in your interface.

Download A Sample Chapter

Get the sample by email

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Learn from the experts

Watch video interviews on design, development, and marketing.

The interviews included with the book cover everything from Ryan Singer of 37signals teaching wireframing and user experience design to Patrick Mackenzie of Kalzumeus sharing the software marketing tactics that have made his clients millions of dollars.

Learn how Sahil Lavingia, founder of Gumroad, designed the best payment experience on the web. These are just a small sample of the great content included in the 7 video interviews. All the interviews include a transcript as well.

About the Author

So who’s behind this?

Hey, I’m Nathan Barry, an interface designer and app developer. I care about designing software that is a joy to use. Previously I led the software design team at a local startup, but in the last year I have been working independently designing and developing my own apps.

I live in Boise, Idaho, but love to travel. You should follow me on Twitter (@nathanbarry) so we can meet up when I come to your city.

The Complete Package

Everything you need to design beautiful web applications.

  • Resources

    • Designing Web Applications

      With all the great content here it might be easy to forget the book. This is the core of the entire product and is insanely valuable.

    • Web App PSD Template

      A collection of hundreds of elements to use as a starting point in your web applications.

    • Wireframe PSD Template

      When I want to use Photoshop to create a wireframe, this is the PSD template that I use as a starting point.

    • Bonus Content

      4 sections that I had to cut from the book on increasing revenue, using font icons, and designing with CSS3.

    • Redesign Case Study

      Follow along as I redesign one of the most popular time tracking applications on the web.

  • Videos

    • Understanding Lighting

      Highlights and shadows, when done correctly, will bring a boring interface to life. Do it wrong and the effect fails.

    • Designing Forms

      Where should you place labels? How should the fields be validated? This video covers great form design.

    • Learning to Wireframe

      This is the method I use to design the user experience of every web application I work on.

    • Designing With CSS3

      Using CSS3 to design and code a login form from scratch. Learn to use box-shadows, border-radius, and gradients.

    • Introduction to Bootstrap

      If you’ve never used the Bootstrap design framework before, this is a quick introduction. Then we dive into creating real applications.

    • Creating an App Interface

      We’ll use Bootstrap to quickly create three good-looking application screens.

    • Customizing Bootstrap

      If you use Bootstrap, you don’t want your site to look like everyone else’s. Learn to customize Bootstrap so it matches your design.

  • Video Interviews

    • Ryan Singer 37signals

      Learn to follow an effective design process from one of the most respected application designers.

    • Sacha Greif Folyo

      Sacha covers typography, color, and style. All essential elements of a great application design.

    • Trent Walton Paravel

      Learn about responsive web design from the man who redesigned Microsoft.com

    • Sahil Lavingia Gumroad

      Sahil takes us behind the scenes of designing the greatest checkout experience on the web.

    • Jarod Ferguson WebWaitr

      Jarod covers how a developer can learn and incorporate design into their application.

    • Brennan Dunn Planscope

      Learn how Brennan bootstrapped a profitable web application from scratch. Doing all the design, development, and marketing himself.

    • Patrick Mackenzie Kalzumeus

      Learn how to increase conversions, draw more traffic, and significantly increase the revenue from your web application.

    • Jason Fried 37signals

      Jason discusses effective copywriting, simplifying your software, true minimum viable products, and side projects.

Want to share with your team? Purchase a team license for $999. Share with up to 50 members of your team.

The Book + Videos

If you want a smaller package, we’ve got the book and some of the videos and resources for you.

  • Resources

    • Designing Web Applications

      With all the great content here it might be easy to forget the book. This is the core of the entire product and is insanely valuable.

    • Bonus Content

      4 sections that I had to cut from the book on increasing revenue, using font icons, and designing with CSS3.

    • Redesign Case Study

      Follow along as I redesign one of the most popular time tracking applications on the web.

  • Videos

    • Understanding Lighting

      Highlights and shadows, when done correctly, will bring a boring interface to life. Do it wrong and the effect fails.

    • Designing Forms

      Where should you place labels? How should the fields be validated? This video covers great form design.

    • Learning to Wireframe

      This is the method I use to design the user experience of every web application I work on.

    • Designing With CSS3

      Using CSS3 to design and code a login form from scratch. Learn to use box-shadows, border-radius, and gradients.

  • Video Interviews

    • Ryan Singer 37signals

      Learn to follow an effective design process from one of the most respected application designers.

    • Sacha Greif Folyo

      Sacha covers typography, color, and style. All essential elements of a great application design.

    • Trent Walton Paravel

      Learn about responsive web design from the man who redesigned Microsoft.com

    • Sahil Lavingia Gumroad

      Sahil takes us behind the scenes of designing the greatest checkout experience on the web.

The Book

The budget option (but still great!)

You know, I want to make sure the book doesn't get undervalued. It really is where I spent the most time and effort. The tutorials and interviews are very useful, but let's not overlook the book itself. You will be referring back to the best practices in this book for years to come.

So, if a budget is an issue, I highly recommend getting the book by itself. You won't regret it.

Questions?

So, are you ready to buy the book now?