Big News!

So, uh, we’re writing a book.

Of course, Jon and Whitney made a video to mark the occasion:

Wait, what? How the…?

You might be asking yourself how the hell this happened. We certainly are.

After our MinneWebCon keynote in April, we were approached by Michael Nolan, an editor with Peachpit/New Riders. We talk a bit more about that whole experience in our latest podcast (#36), but let’s say this: it’s CRAZY EXCITING and it’s been hard to keep our mouths shut about this over the past few months. Peachpit/New Riders are known for publishing some of the best books by the most respected voices in our industry. Books like Don’t Make Me Think, Designing for Web Standards, Elements of User Experience, and Content Strategy for the Web.

We are unbelievably excited to have the opportunity to count ourselves among them. (And the day that we see our names as authors on Amazon will be a mighty proud moment!)

We also need to give a shout-out to Kris Layon (author of New Riders’ The Web Designer’s Guide to iOS Apps and former MinneWebCon director) who not only offered encouragement and advice, but also orchestrated our meeting with Mr. Nolan in the first place. Thanks, Kris. You’re a fine gent, and we wouldn’t be here without you.

So, what’s this book about?

We’re creating an engaging, straightforward guide to Interactive Project Management and the value it can bring to companies and project teams. It outlines both a process — and a way of thinking. The title is Interactive Project Management: A People-Driven Process.

Why project managment?

As an industry, we have a hard time explaining what we do to non-technologists, but this is a critical requirement in nearly every interactive project. A great project manager creates and fosters a connection between an often non-technical client and the project team.

Interactive projects (like websites, mobile sites, and apps) are different from both traditional media and software projects; we can’t simply adopt print or advertising processes and apply them to the web. Nothing in the industry has been standardized; terminology, processes and team structures are different between agencies, and the technology is changing all the time. And while project management is a critical factor in the success of web projects, no one is talking about how to do it well — so agencies, clients and aspiring project managers are making it up as they go.

Other project management books focus on how to create schedules, manage resources, perform risk assessment, make Gantt charts, write briefs, and test code. They tell you what to do, but are essentially just a collection of tactics. And guess what? Creating a timeline doesn’t mean anything’s actually going to get done.

Who’s it for?

Because the book focuses on how to think strategically, alongside tactical tips, it will help all stakeholders think about their approach to projects, peers and clients. So everyone from executives to students will benefit from really understanding how an interactive project should look from start to finish.

Clients are also a target audience. Knowing how their project may work, and what’s coming next, promotes clarity and collaboration from the beginning.

When can I buy one?

Okay, fine. We know you’re not asking yourself that question quite yet. But, it will be out in April 2012, and it should be available for pre-order in the fall. (ZOMG!)

But wait, there’s more!

We plan to blog, podcast and record some videos along the way — so you can follow our progress (and keep us sane) as we write this, our first book. We’re grateful for all the support we’ve gotten from readers of our blog, listeners to our podcast and people who have seen us speak. Every email, every tweet, every conference feedback form: we listen and appreciate it all.

We’re not fooling ourselves; this book isn’t going to be the next Da Vinci Code. But, it’s about something we believe in and we’re excited to have the opportunity to share what we’ve learned in over a decade of managing and launching software, apps and web sites.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. We can’t wait to see where this goes, and we’re happy to have you with us.

Lastly, a pre-emptive apology to our families: looks like we’re going to be crazier than usual until next Spring. We love you.