Visual Usability book cover

Visual Usability

Principles and Practices for Designing Digital Applications

Imagine how much easier creating web and mobile applications would be if you had a practical and concise, hands-on guide to visual design. Visual Usability gets into the nitty-gritty of applying visual design principles to complex application design.

You’ll learn how to avoid common mistakes, make informed decisions about application design, and elevate the ordinary. We’ll review three key principles that affect application design - consistency, hierarchy, and personality - and illustrate how to apply tools like typography, color, and layout to digital application design. Whether you’re a UI professional looking to fine-tune your skills, a developer who cares about making applications beautiful and usable, or someone entirely new to the design arena, Visual Usability is your one-stop, practical guide to visual design.


designers and UI professionals

Secondary: students of usability courses, software developers and development teams

Paperback, 342 Pages

Published: May 2013

Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN: 978-0-12-398536-1


  • "With Tania Schlatter and Deborah Levinson at the helms, both proven experts in their fields, the book ‘visually’ takes you through all the various aspects of user experience design…This book is a pleasant surprise, and a joy to read."--Actual Insights blog, October 26, 2013
    "Design veterans Schlatter and Levinson see a lot of digital applications that either look great or are highly functional, but not both, and contend that it does have to be that way. Drawing on heuristics and best practices from a variety of languages and disciplines, they explain how anyone involved in creating digital interfaces can define and defend a rationale for design decisions."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013


  • Introduction

    Part 1 - The meta-principles

    Chapter 1 Consistency

    Chapter 2 Hierarchy

    Chapter 3 Personality

    Part II - The visual usability tools

    Chapter 4 Layout

    Chapter 5 Type

    Chapter 6 Color

    Chapter 7 Imagery

    Chapter 8 Controls and affordances



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