Creating the Book. Part 3: The Title

Published October 02, 2013 by Jane Portman

Surprisingly, it didn’t take very long to decide what to write about.

For a UI/UX consultant, the most straightforward approach was writing some general guide on UI design, which is my primary expertise. Looking back, it was probably a better thing to do from a marketing perspective. Some catchy title like Little Black Book of UI Design might have done a better job of attracting a wider audience.

But it didn’t seem the right thing. I wanted to bring more value and provide specific, down-to-earth advice. It made more sense to fill a smaller niche. I decided to cover a topic that had obvious practical value, but wasn’t major enough to draw significant attention of other authors or bloggers.

The Topic

While I worked as a creative director, every single day I watched other designers present their UI work to me. Then we improved it together and presented the result to the clients. Or, for internal projects, we worked on selling the final product to the audience.

All these presentation activities are incredibly important and follow quite predictable patterns. But you cannot imagine how many designers have no idea how to do this well. They craft fantastic interfaces, then fill them in with weird sample data and shove the screenshots at you with a humble facial expression (and very little comment).

Of course, if you chose to be a designer, you most likely prefer to express yourself in images, rather than lengthy words. But that doesn’t mean you should so carelessly treat your own work, your own baby. The moment it’s shown to your client is incredibly crucial. So take the matter into your own hands! Finally put some pride into what you show!

That’s exactly what I said too many times to my team. And a dozen more times to those designers who came to job interviews. And a few dozen times to freelance designers whom I hired for remote work.

Presentation skills lay somewhere between UI design and business knowledge. That’s why I think it’s particularly interesting. It requires both the ability to draw up impressive visuals, and the ability to do so strategically. You should know how to accompany these visuals with meaningful comments that prove business value.

The Options

Picking the right name (and positioning the book more precisely) was somewhat trickier. So now the book is called Mastering App Presentation.

I’m not ashamed to share my working titles here with you. This way you’ll get an idea how my ideas fluctuated from one direction to another, before settling on the final version. So here’s the list, just as it’s recorded in my notes:

The Doubts

It was hardest to select just the right word for “presentation.” It could also be selling, showcasing, demonstrating — each bringing its own flare, and addressing a specific target audience. I went with “presentation” as with the most versatile option. I’m sure it’s not the best word for search queries and SEO, but at least it conveys the meaning fairly well.

Another thing, I loved all the titles with “the art of,” but it seemed more practical to go with “mastering” instead (fewer words, more down-to-earth).

And neither of the words “UI” or “interface” seemed to do the job gracefully. You can see, there were no working titles that employ the word “app.” That was one of the last decisions I made. It narrowed down the niche even more, from all types of user interfaces to just mobile apps.

But I don’t regret that decision, the mobile apps niche works perfectly because:

The book still covers many subjects that are applicable for presenting any kind of design work or product. And it delivers tons of everyday value for any designer, not just UI designers or app designers.

The Result

I’m very happy with Mastering App Presentation. It’s short enough to display well in URLs, is easy to spell and understand, is quite attractive to look at and addresses the right type of audience. I’ll be glad to provide more practical insight on this matter after the book is launched on October 8.

This short story explains the reasoning behind the title of the book. I hope you too consider the name catchy and attractive!

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