In the process of designing EntertainLA.com ver 2 (?) back in the spring of 2010, I taught myself UI/UX design. The book that inspired me to study UI/UX design is also the book I still refer to often and suggest to others.
Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience doesn’t simply tell you what to do. Rather, it breaks down UI/UX design for a website into over 100 short chapters, and within each chapter provides you with multiple options and the key points you need to think about in order to make your decision.
For example, have you noticed how some websites “speak to you” (second person – ‘you’) while some websites “speak as you” (first person – ‘I’). Notice how the text on some websites read “Create My Account” while others read “Create Your Account”, or something along those lines. The narrative point of view should be consistent within the website. In this example, the text for the terms should read: “I agree to the terms…” vs “By checking this box, you agree to the terms…”. In this book, you’ll see pros, cons, and examples of websites to help you decide which narrative voice you should use and why.
The book is specific to “social interfaces”, meaning your website has some sort of social component to it. Considering most websites these days should have some sort of social component, this book should be great for almost anybody who wants to design a website. Even if your website doesn’t have a social component or if you’re creating an app, the book reads very easily and will still cover many patterns, principles, and best practices you will benefit from learning about.