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Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]

Dan Saffer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

14 Aug 2009 0321643399 978-0321643391 2
Building products and services that people interact with is the big challenge of the 21st century. Dan Saffer has done an amazing job synthesizing the chaos into an understandable, ordered reference that is a bookshelf must-have for anyone thinking of creating new designs.”
— Jared Spool, CEO of User Interface Engineering

Interaction design is all around us. If you’ve ever wondered why your mobile phone looks pretty but doesn’t work well, you’ve confronted bad interaction design. But if you’ve ever marveled at the joy of using an iPhone, shared your photos on Flickr, used an ATM machine, recorded a television show on TiVo, or ordered a movie off Netflix, you’ve encountered good interaction design: products that work as well as they look.

Interaction design is the new field that defines how our interactive products behave. Between the technology that powers our devices and the visual and industrial design that creates the products’ aesthetics lies the practice that figures out how to make our products useful, usable, and desirable.

This thought-provoking new edition of Designing for Interaction offers the perspective of one of the most respected experts in the field, Dan Saffer. This book will help you

  • learn to create a design strategy that differentiates your product from the competition
  • use design research to uncover people’s behaviors, motivations, and goals in order to design for them
  • employ brainstorming best practices to create innovativenew products and solutions
  • understand the process and methods used to define product behavior
It also offers interviews and case studies from industry leaders on prototyping, designing in an Agile environment, service design, ubicomp, robots, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (Voices That Matter) + A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making (Voices That Matter)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (14 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321643399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321643391
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 17.8 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Building products and services that people interact with is the big challenge of the 21st century. Dan Saffer has done an amazing job synthesizing the chaos into an understandable, ordered reference that is a bookshelf must-have for anyone thinking of creating new designs.”
— Jared Spool, CEO of User Interface Engineering

Interaction design is all around us. If you’ve ever wondered why your mobile phone looks pretty but doesn’t work well, you’ve confronted bad interaction design. But if you’ve ever marveled at the joy of using an iPhone, shared your photos on Flickr, used an ATM machine, recorded a television show on TiVo, or ordered a movie off Netflix, you’ve encountered good interaction design: products that work as well as they look.

Interaction design is the new field that defines how our interactive products behave. Between the technology that powers our devices and the visual and industrial design that creates the products’ aesthetics lies the practice that figures out how to make our products useful, usable, and desirable.

This thought-provoking new edition of Designing for Interaction offers the perspective of one of the most respected experts in the field, Dan Saffer. This book will help you

  • learn to create a design strategy that differentiates your product from the competition
  • use design research to uncover people’s behaviors, motivations, and goals in order to design for them
  • employ brainstorming best practices to create innovativenew products and solutions
  • understand the process and methods used to define product behavior
It also offers interviews and case studies from industry leaders on prototyping, designing in an Agile environment, service design, ubicomp, robots, and more.

About the Author

Dan Saffer (San Francisco) is a founder and principal of Kicker Studio, a San

Francisco-based design consultancy for consumer electronics, appliances,

devices, and interactive environments, specializing in touchscreens and

interactive gestures. In his "spare" time, he curates a site called No Ideas But In

Things that collects physical interfaces for design inspiration. He also oversees

a wiki for the collection of new interaction paradigms called Interactive

Gestures.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic 9 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
If you're interested in Interaction Design (or any connected field like IA or UX) this is a must-read.
If you are an experienced designer probably you already know what's in it, but otherwise is a good and practical lecture.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Low technical content, poorly edited 26 Feb 2014
By lloyd konneker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An overview or introduction, with little for anyone except raw beginners.

A fluffy, gee-whiz book, poorly edited. For example, do we need to know that a particular photo of a supermarket is in Kenya? 'One wonders' ?

Few if any examples of a particular interaction examined in detail.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book. Easy Read. 5 Feb 2013
By Elizabeth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book brings up a lot of great topics. I thought it was very well understood and an easy read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read 27 Dec 2012
By jpvisual - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Good read.

I wish there were more case studies and "real world" application. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a quick introduction to interactions design.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Research for Design (for Interaction) 16 Jan 2010
By Ian J. Bellomy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I originally added Saffer to my reading list I suppose I was hoping for, among other things, an IxD definition of "interaction"; a view of what it was they were `designing', and perhaps trace amounts of a critical language for analysis of existing (and in progress) artifacts. This was not the place to look. Saffer provides explanations of common phenomena such as Hick's and Fitt's law and a brief section on interfaces. Most of the material is focused on process and issues of problem definition. Products (like the ipod) are presented primarily in the context of the process of their creation. Critical analysis of artifacts is slim. While impressing (rightly) that success can be highly dependent on the proper definition of the design problem(s) at hand , Designing For Interaction becomes effervescent when it concerns actual designing.

As a broad summation of interaction design it offers bits of pieces for everyone, but seems aimed at no one. There are breadcrumbs of potentially useful information for practitioners, and overviews of topics that are likely no interest to students (If i were confronting interaction for the first time, I'd be far less interested in how to align to buisnes strategies and far more interested in exploring foundational formal issues.)

What I found most interesting is the discussion it led me to ([...]). Early in the book while covering various design methodologies Saffer touches on the `Genius' approach to design. Contrary to (various forms of) User Centric Design which place a strong emphasis on research and pre-production work, `Genius' is described as a process that relies on the exceptional experience and skill of an an individual or small group of designers above the preliminary qualitative research that UCD seems to hold sacred. There's then a brief interview with James Leftwich where James proposes the term `Rapid Expert Design' as an alternative to avoid various connotations of the latter. In both the book and online he attempts to describe the differences between RED and UCD related practices. Unfortunately both distill to common design practices in more established design fields; building experience through apprenticship and projects of increasing scale then increasingly relying on said experience to make and explore design decisions intuitively and quickly. To Saffer's credit, his shorter distillation of the `Genius' approach is probably as descriptive, brief, and fair as can be.

Luckily the conversation is advanced by the likes of Jonas Löwgren who manages to hit not only the thread's nail on the head, but put words to what's been bothering me about interactive design for years (and perhaps lacking in Designing for Interaction).

"As I read Jim's discussion of RED, the key is the abilities [opposed to methodologies] that the RED designer holds... A general problem in developing design ability is the relative inefficiency of the learning process. Apprenticing and peripheral participation is the most common strategy and it generally takes a long time to reach expert levels of experience and performance... Does the RED approach contain any provisions for increasing the pace of learning? Do you work systematically with product reviews and criticism in your teams? Do you have procedures for debriefing and knowledge sharing after project milestones and completions? How are you working with conceptual tools for articulation of practical knowing, such as patterns or experiential qualities?... I was thinking also of language constructs for talking about what constitutes good interaction. The way I see it, this is one of the main elements of interaction design expertise (the "experience" we talked about earlier in this thread) and my personal approach is to try and articulate so-called experiential qualities to try and create a language in which experienced designers can express and communicate parts of their judgment skills." - Jonas Löwgren

As passionate as Leftwich is about RED, and as measured as he is in expressing his points. He unfortunately lacks the critical language to articulate his (and others) experience. There's nothing wrong with mentoring, but there's nothing good about each generation learning everything through trial and error. Knowledge needs to be codified so it can be, at minimum, passed down. While structured methodologies like UCD that focus on preliminary research are valuable, they contain little design knowledge in of themselves.

While I don't fault Dan Saffer for somewhat neglecting this issue, I imagine that moderately skilled interactive and interaction designers with some experience will a little disappointed.
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