How to Make Good Things Great

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

Delight is in the Details

You can't afford not to sweat the details

Average, “good enough” work is no longer good enough. Our success, our products, and our reputations all rest on the details, the delight, the intention, and the vision we bring to our work.

Delight is in the Details is packed with practical advice, tips, encouragement, inspiration, and insight. Resist the prevailing tide of “good enough” work that leads to forgettable products and a dissatisfaction in your work life. This book and interview series will teach you how to reach for excellence and find joy and delight in the journey.

More than 2,000 people have purchased Delight is in the Details and used it as a tool for crafting better design and making better products. And now I've just released a significant update that includes two new chapters, more interviews, re-mastered audio, three original videos, and more.

Patrick Rhone

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. If you are anyone who makes anything that you care about at all, you need this. It delivers practical and actionable advice on how to not just ship but deliver. The value of this book is worth way more than the cost on the cover.

— Patrick Rhone | writer, technology consultant | Minimal Mac

Jane Portman

Shawn Blanc proves his point of view immediately by creating a delightful user experience for the reader in Delight is in the Details. The book is aesthetically pleasing and incredibly inspiring. I highly recommend it to any creative professional.

— Jane Portman | freelance designer and consultant | UI Breakfast

Sonaal Bangera

Recently one of our iOS apps, Screeny, was copied by multiple people — several new apps showed up in the app store using our name, design and even the description. The only thing that kept our app standing out amongst the imitators was that we took the time to sweat the details. Though our app may seem easy to copy because it is so simple, it’s clear that our focus on the details paid off.

Thank-you, Shawn, for putting out such helpful and inspirational work. Delight is in the Details, distills why making a great user experience will alway work in your favor. Users may come to your app just for the design (initially) but they will stay (over time) for the overall experience.

— Sonaal Bangera | App and Web designer, entrepreneur

Practical advice for ambiguous goals and moving targets

Bridging the gap between good work and great work is easier said than done. Sweating the details, infusing delight into our products, building something truly great — these are ambitious goals. There is no checklist that includes all the details which need sweating over — we figure it out as we go and it's on a project-by-project basis.

Delight is in the Details addresses these challenges and more. As an audio book, an ebook, and an interview series for people who make things, its focus is on the finest goal a person in our industry can have: to create substantive work that delights and excites our audience.

This book and interview series is all about: (a) making a case for sweating the details; (b) giving you an understanding of what that actually looks like when done well; and (c) laying before you a roadmap for how you can change the mindset and habits of your own personal work life and even your company’s culture.

The details are not the details.
They make the design.

Charles Eames

Learn from the best

As part of The Complete Kit, there are 10 interviews with designers, developers, writers, entrepreneurs, and makers — all of whom have an astounding ability to sweat the details. And they have used that ability to make amazing things. During our candid and friendly conversations, we discuss topics and examples related to doing our best creative work, gleaning much from their experience, mistakes, and successes. Each guest's background and experiences gives a unique context to the many topics covered in the book.

The interviews total more than 5 hours worth of audio. It's like a 10-part, ad-free, limited-edition podcast where the focus is on doing your best creative work, building an audience, and growing your skills. Sounds awesome!

Moreover, all the audio interviews have been professionally transcribed and expertly laid out in PDF format along with show notes, bios, and links from the conversations — perfect for those who prefer to read the conversations. Also the transcriptions make for a searchable archive if you ever want (or need) to reference them.

Makers Q&A

Additionally, there are 8 Makers Q&A sessions featuring Tim Van Damme, interface designer at Dropbox; Jeff Sheldon, founder and designer of Ugmonk; Jane Portman, independent UI/UX consultant; Sean McCabe, hand lettering illustrator; Josh Brewer, former design-lead for Twitter; Josh Motlong, marketer, designer, and wannabe barber; Kai Brach, editor, designer, and publisher of Offscreen Magazine; and Kyle Steed, illustrator and designer.

Because great products are forged in the details, I reached out to a handful of my personal design heroes to ask them what it means to sweat the details, what delight in design looks like for their work, and how they spend their day to do their best creative work.

“The Creative Life”

This video, plus two others, are included in The Complete Kit.


I worked with a friend and local videographer, Joel Sorge, to create some awesome, visually-interesting videos. The topics of which are some personal lessons I've learned from a decades-long creative career: (1) how to stay creative; (2) time management and focus; and (3) working for and/or leading an in-house design team. The above is video number 1, which is also based on an excerpt from chapter 14 in the book.

All three videos are included as part of The Complete Kit, and available to download in HD.

Delight should be on your mind from the very minute you start a new project.

Tim Van Damme

The Complete Kit

Designed from the beginning to be a complementary package, the Complete Kit for Delight is in the Details offers practical advice, tips, insight, and inspiration to help you reach for excellence and refuse to settle on “good enough” work.

The eBook only

The eBook serves as the foundational content upon which all the other resources are built. I've also included two Makers Q&A interviews as part of the eBook-only option.

The keys to success are patience, persistence, and obsessive attention to detail.

Jeff Bezos

Josh Centers

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

— Josh Centers | writer and editor | TidBITS

Stephen Hackett

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

— Stephen Hackett | writer, podcaster, project manager | 512 Pixels,

Conor McClure

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 | web designer

Ben Plantinga

I just purchased and read Delight is in the Details. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to going through the accompanying audio and video. The book just kept getting better as I read through the second section to the end of the book. I found it a nice mix of encouragement and useful guidance towards accomplishing better creative work. It's the type of writing that I will read over again when looking for additional encouragement.

— Ben Plantinga


Q: Money-Back Guarantee?

A: You bet! I've spent hundreds of hours putting together the content of this book and interview series, and it's all based on my decades-long career as a creative professional. I'm confident that the contents of the book and the interview series are well worth $39.

If, however, you're not delighted with your purchase, just email me within 30 days of your purchase and I'll be happy to give you a full refund. No questions asked (though hopefully you'll be willing to share with me what you didn't like about it so I can make improvements).

Q: What all is new in version 2?

A: Quite a bit.

Q: I already bought version 1, do I get a free update?

A: Yes! Yes, you do. Anyone who bought the previous version gets the updated content for free (check your Gumroad email for a download link). And anyone who buys this version will get future updates for free as well.

Q: I'm part of a creative team, photography studio, software development shop, etc. Do you offer team licenses?

A: Yes. A team license is available for crews up to 10 and costs $149. It includes all the files in DRM-free format and the 1080p HD versions of the videos. If you have a team larger than 10, please email me.

Q: I'm not sure if this is for me.

A: Fair concern. Delight is in the Details is for you if:

And if that's not enough, the book has a 30-day money back guarantee.

The Complete Kit

* The 88-page eBook
* The Audio book
* 10 audio interviews (with transcripts)
* 8 Makers Q&A interviews
* 3 Videos
* The Resource Index
* Money-back guarantee

Get it for $39

Or, you can get just the eBook for $25.

A team license is available for crews up to 10.

Shawn Blanc

About the author

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.