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SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

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all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

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free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

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meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

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purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

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small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

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the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

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the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

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the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

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the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

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tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

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unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

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v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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« "When I grow up..." | Main | Q&A: The Dip and knowing when to quit »

Great design = getting people to do what you want

A copout: "Create a place or a site or a tool that helps the user do whatever the user wants to do."

I think that's just one small subset of what design is. There are only a few situations where what the designer (or her client) wants is for the user to do precisely whatever the user has in mind in the short run.

More often, designers find ourselves working to get the user to want what we want.

The goal is to create design that takes the user's long-term needs and desires into account, and helps him focus his attention and goals on accomplishing something worthwhile.

That well-designed prescription bottle, for example, is well-designed because it gets you to take your medicine even when you forget or don't feel like it. If that wasn't the goal, then a cheap Baggie would do the job.

And that well-designed web site doesn't encourage aimless clicking and eventual ennui. Instead, it pushes the user to come face to face with what's on offer and to decide (hopefully) to engage.

A good airport is designed to encourage travelers not to slow down the journey of their fellows, not to get aimless or distracted (what the traveler wants in the short run) and miss a plane.

A great book cover gets someone who isn't inclined to buy this book (if it had a plain paper wrapper) to pick it up and suddenly want what the author wants--for the reader to want to read it.

Good scissors for kids ought to be fabulous at cutting paper but not so good at cutting sisters, no matter how much little brother wants to.

Unethical design, then, is using the power of design to get the user to do something he regrets. Great design is pushing/focusing the user to do something that he'll thank you for later.

Designing for 'everyone to do anything' is difficult to do well and ultimately a cop out. It absolves the designer of responsibility, sure, but it is also design without intent or generosity.

Great designers can easily answer the question, "what do you want the user to do?"

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