Adventures in Digital Design

The story of digital design begins at the User Interface, the point of contact between user and a digital product. This book will take you on a journey of designing User Interfaces for hundred digital products, for desktop, web, mobile, tablets and TVs. A progressive journey where you will see how digital design has evolved from command line interfaces, to GUIs, to Natural interfaces, to Multi Touch and to Organic User Interfaces. Along the way you will learn how the advancement in technology like capacitive touchscreens, Bluetooth, artificial intelligence and text to speech, has molded the User Interface in innovative ways and taken the digital design to a completely new level. A level where, understanding the context of the product, and their users dictates the design and success of a product is decided by user adoption.

Steve Jobs used to say, Design is not what it looks like, Design is how it works. This book will rip open the look of digital applications and take you behind the scene. It will show you how design works for 100 different digital applications, ranging from desktop software’s, widgets, adaptive web interfaces, innovative mobiles apps and Games on tablets and TVs.

The book takes a practical approach on design principles and shows you how it can be applied in digital products. The book will guide you through designing interfaces by showing you the big picture view, listing down the design guidelines and best practices and showing real examples and point you how Design principles are successfully applied.

The book will give designer a practical advice on developing a rich user interface for everyday ad-hoc applications and help in their daily job with practical advices, illustrations and case studies. The book has practical principles and guidelines. It talks about how those design principles can be applied to digital products.

  • One GUI guidelines at a time
  • Include case studies for solution for Desktop, Mobile, Web, Tablets and TVs 
  • Architecture view of the Digital products 
  • Design Guidelines for creating GUIs
  • Best practices for designing the user interfaces 
  • Includes current trends in Digital design 
Following are the current trends in design included but not limited to:
  • Accessible Interface 
  • Skeuomorphic vs. Modern UI
  • Voice UI and Text to Speech
  • One page Website design
  • Ajax, RIA, and Ecommerce design
  • Mobile Native, Hybrid and Web App 
  • 10 Foot User Interface and Zoom UI
  • Natural and Organic User Interface


Writing on digital design is like taking on an adventurous journey around the world in 80 days. It is not an easy journey, not for the faint of the heart. There are so many designs to cover and so little time. The world of digital design is ever expanding, and to start at the beginning and cover all the important current trends in design is a monumental task.

The first thanks goes to William Lidwell whose book on “Universal Principles of Design” gave me the first inspiration for this book. The book opened my eyes to many exciting design principles which I had never heard of before. I was inspired by his book to the point that I came up with the idea of this book, which takes the same methodology of universal design and applies it to a practical level. A book about design principles applied to real digital products: hundreds of email exchanges, tons of designs, and two years of effort later, this book is taking its final shape. Thanks, William.

I also wanted to mention two of the most influential people in the design world who have shaped my thinking on design. One is Steve Jobs, late CEO of Apple Inc. and the other is Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia design chief. I have learned so much just by listening to them. Thanks, Steve and Marko, for inspiring me.

Thanks to Rita Parada, design technologist at Nokia, who helped me flush out the concept of digital design at the inception of the book. Thanks also to Alex Bravo, my colleague and my friend, an amazing person with whom I had countless discussions on design during last few years, and who knowingly and unknowingly helped me a lot with this book. Thanks to all the software developers, app developers, and website designers who agreed to include their examples as case studies in the book. A list can be found at the end of the book.

Thanks also to my family, especially Mom, Dad and my brothers, who have always believed in me. Finally, I want to thank my wife Lakshmi, my shining star, for her relentless patience and support during the entire writing period.


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