Analog In, Digital Out: Brendan Dawes on Interaction Design (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 6 Sep 2006
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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.
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
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 . See all Product description
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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 . . .'
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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!
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...