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Analog in, Digital Out: Brendan Dawes on Interaction Design (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 6 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (6 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321429168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321429162
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review


Brendan's book offers a deeply personal, approachable and honest
account of his creative process and how he comes up with great ideas
and designs for interactive experiences. This book is a true joy to
read that's infused with clever visual punctuation to every page and
story.  Destined to become a classic design tome that will help 
readers tap into their own processes and creativity.

Lynda Weinman
Founder - Flashforward Conference and lynda.com

It reminded me very much of the approach we took at Antirom. It’s really about playing with these new forms, technologies and cultures and trying to discern some interesting features about them and the underlying language. Any interaction designer, all students and pretty much anyone else involved in coming up with ideas for a living should have a copy.

Andy Polaine, co-founder Antirom

 

From the Back Cover

Creativity is an innate human impulse, many people believe, something we’re born with but too often “grow out of” as adult lives make more and more demands. Fortunately for us, the creative drive continues to run strong in legendary designer Brendan Dawes. Habitually alert to the happy accident, and possessed of highly eclectic interests and a quirky wit, he has happened into his perfect career. Around this habit–call it a philosophy–of asking, “Why does this have to be this way? What if . . .,” Dawes has built magneticNorth, an acclaimed Web and interaction design practice, based in Manchester, U.K. In this unique book, Dawes invites readers inside a series of his personal projects to get a view of his process--his creative seeing, making, and playing. He encourages designers to look beyond the normal tools of their trade to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places: tubs of children’s clay, anonymous notes, household plumbing fixtures, jazz music, snow globes, fast-food take-out bags, airport departure gates, and more. Brilliant, original, and always grounded in the needs of users, Dawes shares both the techniques he has created and the key lessons he has learned in design: why comfort is the enemy of creativity; how mistakes can be celebrated instead of feared, and how to strip design to its purest and most powerful forms. Known worldwide for his entertaining and inspirational presentations, Dawes now brings profound insights to a book that is certain to become a classic inspiration for designers of every type. Brendan Dawes is Creative Director of the interactive design group magneticNorth, based in Manchester, UK. His clients include the Walt Disney Co., the BBC, Kellogg’s, and Coca-Cola. Dawes’ work has been featured in numerous journals, including idN, Creative Review, MacUser, Computer Arts, Create, The Guardian, and Communications Arts. He was also featured in New Masters of Flash and other books, and is the author of Flash ActionScript for Designers: Dra,g Slide, Fade. Dawes spends much of the year speaking at conferences around the world, including the HOW Design Conference and Flashforward .

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Mr. P. R. F. Robbins on 7 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
I read Analogue In Digital Out from cover to cover, it's a top read and visually exciting and fun. It's funny, informative, interesting and exudes the passion Brendan Dawes has for creativity and doing things differently. In Brendan's case doing it differently is better for him and definitely better for us. He dares to be different, he dares to question "Why does it always have to be like this and be the same?" Read the book, it'll explain it in a way that everyone can learn from and appreciate why being different is a good and exciting thing. Everyone who reads AIDO will turn the final page with a smile and a feeling of inspiration. AIDO would look good gracing anyone's coffee table and should serve as a constant reminder that he who dares, creates and inspires.
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Format: Paperback
I read this in one sitting and it very much resonates with my own 12 years of working in interaction design. Dawes is a kind of Jamie Oliver of interaction design and he wittily and insightfully describes his process of just getting stuck in and trying things out by pulling apart gadgets and code, connecting different things together and seeing what results. It's a great example of a playful, experimental process and is wonderfully unpretentious, which can often be a problem in design books. Anyone involved in interaction design should grab a copy and certainly all art, design or interaction students read it - but I think it has great value for anyone who has to come up with ideas for a living.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hemel on 18 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm not a Creative but have worked with the Brenadan Dawes on projects and can recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about interaction design either as a designer or someone who thinks `I wish I could do that'.

The book is built around 30 personal and eclectic topics using rich metaphors to describe the creative process, such as 'brown paper & string moments' and 'Mariah Carey syndrome'. Each one is a lesson in its self but rolled together flow like the pixels in a Cinema Redux.

There are stunning images in the spiral notebook, jazz inspiration and mash-up at the movies with explanations of how they are generated. Practical imagination describes how to interface the real world to the digital world using play-doh, door bells and a Teleo rapid prototyping tool.

Other chapters get you thinking about limitations of the digital medium with undo, use and presence. The last page is a call to arms for all designers and should be stuck on the bathroom mirror as a daily reminder `creativity is not about playing safe . . .'
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Considering design from unusual perspectives... 26 Oct. 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For those of us not inclined towards design, It's always a good idea to look for ways to "think different" about the process. Brendan Dawes does that in his book Analog In, Digital Out: Brendan Dawes on Interaction Design. It's definitely not a "how to" book, but more of an idea generator...

Contents: Looking Up; Revolutionaries - The Zephyr Skateboard Team; Just Ring the Bell When You Get There; "Brown Paper and String" Moments; Play-Doh as Interface; Recycling the Past; All This Useless Beauty; Anything Can Happen in the Next Half-Hour; Waiting for Departure; Nightmare at 30,000 Feet; Strangers on a Train; Spiral Notebook; Revolutionaries - John Whitney; The Power of Silence; Jazz Inspiration; Close to You; Don't Think; Constraints Are Good; Revolutionaries - Raymond Scott; The Special Capability of Making Many Mistakes; Perfection? In a Word, the Pencil; Designing for My Mum; Walk On By; Where's All My Stuff Gone?; A World without Undo; Mash-Up at the Movies; Contextual Memories; Rock 'n' Roll; Mariah Carey Syndrome; From Thin Air; Bending the Rules; Evidence of Use; Comfortably Numb

You know this isn't the typical design book when you start going through it... Large full-page graphics, unusual typesetting, and images that are not your ordinary book fare. But I guess that's to be expected from someone who has devoted their life to interaction design and wondering how the analog world can be made digital. I mentioned that it's not a "how to" book, in that you won't find any best practices lists or before/after website designs. It's more a "stream of consciousness" book on the author's feelings and thoughts towards the subject. For instance, he talks about how he took Play-doh (analog) and created an interface (digital) that allowed someone to see online effects of their real-world interaction with an object that has no interface. Or how he took music (analog) and used it as input to a graphic generation program (digital) in order to create musical fingerprints of songs. Maybe the specific idea isn't necessarily practical, but it leads you into taking a different view of things that fall outside of our normal established patterns. I think my favorite chapter was "Mariah Carey Syndrome"... Just because you have an eight octave range in your voice, it doesn't mean you have to use it on *every single note*... just because you can, doesn't mean you should...

The practicality-oriented readers might be a bit frustrated with the lack of "do this" material. But approached in the correct way, this book offers some unique insights that aren't normally considered. Definitely a different type of read...
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
BUY THIS BOOK - A wizard of wonder goes exploring with you 7 Oct. 2006
By S. A. Corning - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was fortunate enough to meet Brendan Dawes at the Chicago Design conference in 2005. He inspired me then, and continues to inspire me with his website and this book. This is a very different book than your usual design or computer book, (the bookstores place it in the "Animation section"?). In each chapter Brendan gives you a view into his world and how he solves problems. He shares his explorations with you from how he looks at the world, to the mechanics of how he completes a project. Along with several of the chapters he provides "Helpful websites", to explore beyond the book. My favorite is chapter 7, where he shows you his kit for always being ready to develop an idea, (I agree the Moleskin sketchbooks are ideal for capturing ideas).

The book itself is a true work of art. Great photos, and great ideas.

The book is a very personal view of his world, but a wonderful world it is. The writing style makes me feel like he is there with me as he explains what he is thinking or doing. I have already given several books away to family and friends.

Please consider, "Interaction Design", in the most general sense of the word. Anyone wanting to see the world in a different way, or just have more fun in life will enjoy this book. Each chapter will give you a lot of food for thought. So plan on taking time to think about all the ideas, and how you can use them. On the lower right corner of the book it says, "Voices that Matter", and Brendan's does. SO BUY THE BOOK!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Unique book about always thinking about what is around you 30 Dec. 2006
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is not some academic treatise on user interaction design. Instead, it is a very short book that can be read in one sitting about constantly surveying the world around you and considering how people interact with their environment, what seems natural, what seems fun, and always taking time to wonder why something is the way that it is or just why it exists in the first place. There are about equal parts illustrations and text in this book, and it is a fun read.

The author has plenty of anecdotes from his own daily life, such as how he read a children's book while on vacation entitled "The Phantom Tollbooth" in which an entire town becomes invisible to the people that live there because they are so engrossed in getting as quickly as possible from A to B, that everything in between has simply disappeared. The lesson is that you should always be looking at your surroundings as though they are completely new and asking "why?". The author also talks about interesting projects such as a demonstration system he built that calculated the area of a piece of play-doh and changed the speed of a movie that was playing based on that number. These anecdotes and projects are not particularly useful in isolation, but taken together the book gives you a new perspective on the world around you, showing you how you can build an interface out of almost anything and how to make that interface inviting and interesting to the user. If the author wrote any code to do a particular task, he usually includes it, although it is highly unlikely you would want to copy his individual projects. He also includes "Helpful Sites" in most chapters that talk about certain pieces of software or hardware that he might have used. Overall, this book is a useful exercise in expanding your imagination and creativity, and I highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brendan Dawes Superstar 5 May 2008
By Denny McEntire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Brendan Dawes is one of my top inspirational people. This book gives great insight into how he thinks about the world around him and how he relates that back to his work. It comes complete with some great code snippets, all very simple to read, but the outcome is impressive.
New ways of seeing 30 Oct. 2007
By Prof Kirsty Beilharz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this booking thinking I might find concrete methodologies for physical computing. It is maybe not so in-depth describing various projects made by the author over the years, many consisting predominantly of innovative (at the time) coding. Most helpful, were the pervasive philosophical inflections encouraging exploratory and experimental approaches, slightly anarchic motivations and quirky little inventions. Due to its heavily visual communication, i.e. lots of full-page pictures, the textual content is actually fairly slim. I wish it were not over so quickly.
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