A Book Apart

New! Design by Definition from Elizabeth McGuane

Jul 25, 2023

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Deep green and white Design by Definition books stacked on a light wood table.

Available Now

Design by Definition

by Elizabeth McGuane

When we think of design primarily in terms of visual representation, we neglect an essential piece of the creative process. The words we use to form concepts can also powerfully shape a design project from start to finish—giving clarity to goals, precision to names and structure, and purpose to stylistic choices.

Elizabeth McGuane offers a fresh, empowering framework for design. Drawing from her experience on the forefront of web, mobile, and product design, she shows us how to harness the potency of words and language to uplift and illuminate rather than encumber. Learn how to effectively apply semantic concepts, use language to frame design problems clearly, and integrate elements of style such as metaphor and nomenclature, to strengthen your design process.

On sale now: paperbacks ship within 48-72 hours and ebooks are available for immediate download.

➜ Bundle it: buy this book with The Business Of UX Writing (or any other title) and save 10%!


What people are saying about the Design by Definition

“At its heart, this powerful little book is about how to think deeply, clearly, and humanely about solving hard problems—with and for real people. Its message is relevant for those designing digital software, and for anyone striving to make meaning, build understanding, and create alignment in work and life.”

Chief design officer at Gusto

“Words are slippery. Elizabeth captures them with adeptness and poetic prose, perfectly explaining how they shepherd us along the winding path of product development. This book has invaluable advice for anyone who communicates or makes things with other humans.”

Content design director at Meta

“Whether we design with pixels or pencil marks on paper, we use words to share ideas. Elizabeth presents us with a roadmap for embracing the importance of words and shared language, and reminds us that when done intentionally, writing is a joyful act and the most galvanizing part of the entire creative process.”

Cofounder and creative director at Design Business Company


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