What I Read In April

During the month of April, I have read some books and papers that left a deep impression on me. Previously I have shared on this blog recommendation on a book concerning Digital Marketing, UX, IA, and Social Media. Each and every one had its designated post. But lately, I have started pushing myself to find the time to read more. Consequently, I have decided to share with my readers a list of my readings on a monthly basis (whenever I have something to share, naturally).

I hope these collections of monthly readings inspire you at least a bit. They certainly put my mind into reflection mode. And here are the ones that made my April readings list.

“You Should Test That” by Chris Goward

As someone who firmly believes that websites should not be just name cards or something-we-have-but-not-invest-much-effort-on-it, Chris Goward’s book was much of a delight to read. Optimizing for a better conversion should be based not only on one’s gut feeling but moreover on statistical proof that one is going in the right direction while designing web interaction.  There are quite a few ways to test and formulate outcomes described in “You Should Test That”. I personally got a few good ideas to work on in the near future. And if you do not pay attention to the constant mentioning of Chris Goward’s company name, I am sure you will too.

You can buy “You Should Test That” on Amazon.com, Amazon.de, or O’Reilly (where I’ve got my digital copy).

“Interviewing Users” by Steve Portigal

Interviewing users is a big part of building a good user experience. Steve Portigal has offered a how-to guide with reflections on actually getting the most out of it. Empathy is the keyword in this topic and Steve describes how exactly walking in someone else’s shoes helps to get better results by asking the right questions. With more than 15 years of “listening” experience, he is the right man to learn from when it comes to interviewing users. I can’t wait to meet him in person at this year’s euroIA conference where he will be holding a workshop on this very topic.

You can purchase “Interviewing Users” on Amazon.com, Rosenfeld Media, Rosenfeld Media , or O’Reilly.

“Responsive Web Design” by Ethan Marcotte

As I embark on yet another website redesign, I thought it would be a great idea to dig into responsive web design. Ethan Marcotte offered quite an engaging and easy to read walk-through on the basics using examples and pin-pointing things to consider while delving into the topic of responsive websites. I suggest this book to any marketer or anyone that wants to start with “responsive”. It is great for newbies.

You can get “Responsive Web Design” on A Book Apart’s website.

“Design for Emotion” by Aarron Walter

How do you invoke trust? How do you design for conversion? How do you keep your users coming back to your website? The answers to these and many other questions are well described by Aarron Walter in a short book.  I find Aarron’s writing inspiring and the topic very interesting indeed.  It kind of explained to me a bit while I have used so many Apple products for the past decade… But seriously, if you get a chance, spend a few hours reading “Design for Emotion” and you won’t be sorry.

You can buy “Design for Emotion” on A Book Apart’s website.

Big Questions for Social Media Big Data” by Zeynep Tufekci

Tahrir Square in Cairo, Gezi Park in Istanbul, Occupy Wall Street, #ДАНСwithme in Sofia, Euromaidan in Ukraine and so many other landmarks symbolizing social uprising in the world, they all have one thing in common “technology meets social”. Zeynep Tufekci has made a name on Twitter and the blogosphere in general by writing a great analysis of how protesters use available technology and social networks to communicate and spread information, call-to-actions and guerrilla journalism. Many of the pieces she published on Medium and her own blog study this new wave of revolt against the corrupt political status quo.

While “Big Questions for Social Media Big Data” is an academic paper written in high-level English, it is rather fascinating reading with quite a few insights on social media patterns and social behavior. For me personally, it does give me another perspective on many of the thousands of tweets in my timeline concerning the Turkish, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian protests since last year.

You can read “Big Questions for Social Media Big Data” here and follow @zeynep on Twitter or blog for more insights on technology and sociology.

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

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