Delight is in the Details

An audio book, eBook, and interview series for people who make things.

A product is made great through all the little details that go into it. This, however, is easier said than done.

It takes significant time and talent to bridge the gap between good design and great design. Many designers find themselves working with clients or bosses who would prefer to squeeze additional features into a product rather than taking the time to polish and refine what has already been done. Moreover, what can a designer do when they have the desire and willpower to make a great product but they lack the talent?

Delight is in the Details addresses these challenges.

In the book, I talk about why the long-term success of our products (and our reputations) depends heavily on us taking the time to think through and sweat the details. This book encourages you to strive for excellence and resist the tendency to settle on “good enough” work that leads to forgettable products.

Additionally, I share several examples of products and services I consider delightful, and I talk at length with makers who've shown an astounding ability to sweat the details, gleaning from their experience and success. This book does not include any step-by-step design guides or product development runsheets that would apply to a specific project or trade — the scope of our creative industry is so broad, encompassing print design, web design, development, music, photography, and writing to name a few. Rather, the focus is on addressing the finest goal a person in our industry can have: to create substantive work that delights and excites our audience.


“Shawn has a unique appreciation of great design and a firm understanding of why the details matter. This book helps you sweat them both and break past the creative ceilings you might meet along the way. It is important and, dare I say, delightful. If you are a creative professional, designer, developer, or even just someone interested in why good design matters, you need this.”

— Patrick Rhone, Minimal Mac

“A great source of advice and inspiration for anyone who creates products.”

— Josh Centers, TidBITS

“In my history working in desktop publishing (specifically for newspapers), I was notorious for sweating the details—down to the very pixel—and the habit has followed to web design—again, down to the very pixel—so this book speaks to me, and is a must-buy for anyone interested in design, art, or the creative process.”

— Conor McClure

“If you work in the creative field as a designer, editor or even manager, this is an investment you need to make.”

— Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels


I: Concerning the Product

II: Concerning the Making

What's Included

The Interviews

Accompanying the audio bundle are several interviews with designers, developers, and entrepreneurs.

About the Author

Shawn Blanc

Shawn Blanc lives in Kansas City with his wife Anna, their sons, Noah and Giovanni, and two green couches. He is a creative-director-turned-full-time-writer who works from home publishing his tech- and design-centric websites.