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Posts in category 'Book'

4 June 2013

A beautiful kids’ book that combines interactivity with good old-fashioned text

monster

The Jörgits and the End of Winter, an indie fantasy novel for kids nine and up, uses interactivity as a supplement to the story, not a stand-in for it, and shows how interactivity can work in a slightly more substantial text.

The app was created by Anders Sandell, a Finnish-born interaction designer who grew up in Hawaii, studied Chinese language and literature as an undergrad, earned a masters in NYU’s ITP program, and recently wrapped up a three-year stint establishing a toy design program at the Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, in Bangalore, India. Unsurprisingly, diversity and community are main themes of the designer’s book.

4 June 2013

Book: Rewire – Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

rewire

Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection
by Ethan Zuckerman
W. W. Norton & Company, June 2013
288 pages
[Amazon link]

Abstract

We live in an age of connection, one that is accelerated by the Internet. This increasingly ubiquitous, immensely powerful technology often leads us to assume that as the number of people online grows, it inevitably leads to a smaller, more cosmopolitan world. We’ll understand more, we think. We’ll know more. We’ll engage more and share more with people from other cultures. In reality, it is easier to ship bottles of water from Fiji to Atlanta than it is to get news from Tokyo to New York.
In Rewire, media scholar and activist Ethan Zuckerman explains why the technological ability to communicate with someone does not inevitably lead to increased human connection. At the most basic level, our human tendency to “flock together” means that most of our interactions, online or off, are with a small set of people with whom we have much in common. In examining this fundamental tendency, Zuckerman draws on his own work as well as the latest research in psychology and sociology to consider technology’s role in disconnecting ourselves from the rest of the world.

For those who seek a wider picture — a picture now critical for survival in an age of global economic crises and pandemics — Zuckerman highlights the challenges, and the headway already made, in truly connecting people across cultures. From voracious xenophiles eager to explore other countries to bridge figures who are able to connect one culture to another, people are at the center of his vision for a true kind of cosmopolitanism. And it is people who will shape a new approach to existing technologies, and perhaps invent some new ones, that embrace translation, cross-cultural inspiration, and the search for new, serendipitous experiences.

Rich with Zuckerman’s personal experience and wisdom, Rewire offers a map of the social, technical, and policy innovations needed to more tightly connect the world.

Review by Astra Taylor

“Zuckerman comes across as a kind and generous person who wants to make space for everyone, including, it seems, the global financial elite. While I respect his openness, I’m less forgiving. If cosmopolitanism is to be a force for desirable change in this world, it has to have a purpose more profound than the vision Zuckerman describes in his final chapter. The ease of digital connection may not bring about world peace, but that doesn’t mean we have to disavow all idealism and big dreams. If we’re going to rewire, let’s try to go further.”

26 May 2013

Book: Design For Care – Innovating Healthcare Experience

design-for-care

Design For Care – Innovating Healthcare Experience
Peter Jones
Rosenfeld Media, 2013
376 pages

The world of healthcare is constantly evolving, ever increasing in complexity, costs, and stakeholders, and presenting huge challenges to policy making, decision making and system design. In Design for Care, Peter Jones shows how service and information designers can work with practice professionals and patients/advocates to make a positive difference in healthcare.

More in particular, the book will:

  • Present a current presentation of compelling healthcare design and information issues, integrated by representative case studies, to help designers, managers, students and teachers better understand the field
  • Educate and stimulate this audience to innovate and design better services from a total systems perspective in current healthcare practice
  • Help this audience understand the complexities, emerging opportunities, and uncertainties as indicated from the collective experience of leading edge design and research thinkers

It’s the first book of Rosenfeld Media focused on a specific industry—healthcare, of course. It’s also something of a service design book and a design strategy book to boot. After all, as the design field becomes increasingly recognized as strategically important, we’ll need to contextualize its value for a variety of wicked problems—ones that are often associated with particular industries.

Peter Jones is associate professor at Toronto’s OCAD University, where he is a senior fellow of the Strategic Innovation Lab and teaches in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes program.

10 May 2013

How do you interview an interview specialist?

steve

Ethnography Matters took on a difficult challenge with this interview of Steve Portigal about his new book “Interviewing Users“.

EM: In your 18 years in this business, what has been some of the biggest shifts that you have witnessed in the field?

SP: When I entered the field, it was barely a field. There was no community, there were few people practicing, and there wasn’t a lot of demand for the work. I think the growth in the user experience field, through the web and then mobile devices has really pulled us along. Of course, there are researchers working in categories I have less visibility into so their shifts would be different. I saw insights about customers regarded as a luxury in the 2001 recession and thus low demand; but in 2008 companies talked about trying to innovate their way through the downturn and so insights and design were no longer expendable ingredients in product development.

Steve Portigal is the founder of Portigal Consulting, a bite-sized firm that helps clients to discover and act on new insights about themselves and their customers. Over the course of his career, he has interviewed hundreds of people, including families eating breakfast, hotel maintenance staff, architects, rock musicians, home-automation enthusiasts, credit-default swap traders, and radiologists. His work has informed the development of mobile devices, medical information systems, music gear, wine packaging, financial services, corporate intranets, videoconferencing systems, and iPod accessories.

Putting People First readers have a 20% discount off the list price of the book — simply place your order through Rosenfeld Media and use the coupon code PPF2013 upon checkout.

8 May 2013

Interviewing Users book – Special offers for Putting People First readers

interviewing-users

A few weeks ago, I announced Interviewing Users, the new book by Steve Portigal published by Rosenfeld Media. It is now available for purchase, both in print and in digital version.

Steve and his publisher provide Putting People First readers with two special offers:

  • Giveaway: the first three people leaving a reply on this post why they would love to get a free copy of this book, will get a mail from me with the code for exactly that: a free paper copy!
  • Discount: all others get something too: an exclusive 20% discount off the list price of the book — simply place your order through Rosenfeld Media and use the coupon code PPF2013 upon checkout.

Also note that Steve has posted a long excerpt from Chapter 2 “How to Uncover Compelling Insights” on Core77: . This part off the book sets up the overarching framework for successful interviewing: most experts have a set of best practices—tactics, really—that they follow. But what really makes them expert is that they have a set of operating principles. This ends up being more like a framework for how to be, rather than a list of what to do.

Grant McCracken meanwhile has posted his foreword to the book.

Thank you Louis, Mary and Steve.

16 April 2013

Book: Hidden in Plain Sight (by Jan Chipchase)

hiddeninplainsight

Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Create Extraordinary Products for Tomorrow’s Customers
by Jan Chipchase
Harper Collins Publishers
April 2013
256 pages
(Amazon link)

A global-innovation expert offers a new perspective on how consumers think and how to develop products and services that affect their everyday lives.

Who are your next customers—not just the ones you are serving today but the ones you’ll need three, five, or ten years from now? How do you figure out what goods and services will attract them in the future before your competitors do?

According to Jan Chipchase—whom Fast Company has called the “James Bond of design research” and Fortune has called the “Indiana Jones of technology for the developing world”—most of the clues are right in front of us. The key is learning to see the ordinary in a revolutionary new way. As the executive creative director of Global Insights at frog, an award-winning global design and innovation company, Chipchase draws on everyday objects and patterns to show us how to see the world differently, from making a phone call to filling up a gas tank to ascertaining whether it’s actually half-and-half you’re pouring into your coffee. Chipchase is always looking for opportunities—gaps, anomalies, and contradictions—that will give his clients, some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, a distinct competitive advantage, whether they’re delivering the most low-tech bar of soap or the most high-tech wireless network.

In Hidden in Plain Sight, Chipchase takes readers on his journeys around the globe and shares his methods for identifying the unmet needs of customers. No matter where he stops—whether Cleveland or Kabul—his goals are the same: to spot and decode the routines of daily life and to help readers use the very same tools that he and his team use to see, and capitalize upon, what is hidden in plain sight today to create businesses tomorrow.

- Excerpt
- Recent article by Jan Chipchase on Google Glass

15 April 2013

Book: Interviewing Users (by Steve Portigal)

interviewing-users

Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
by Steve Portigal
Rosenfeld Media
To be published: early May 2013

Interviewing is a foundational user research tool that people assume they already possess. Everyone can ask questions, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Interviewing Users provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative interviews with anyone. You’ll move from simply gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about people.

Interviewing Users will explain how to succeed with interviewing, including:

  • Embracing how other people see the world
  • Building rapport to create engaging and exciting interactions
  • Listening in order to build rapport.

With this book, Steve Portigal uses stories and examples from his 15 years of experience to show how interviewing can be incorporated into the design process, helping you learn the best and right information to inform and inspire your design.

9 April 2013

Book: Service Design by Industrial Designers

servicedesign

Service Design by Industrial Designers
By Froukje Sleeswijk Visser
Technical University Delft
2013, 104 pages

Design practice is changing. The applications of design skills, knowledge, activities and processes seem to become wider everyday. More and more designers are tackling complex societal issues, and apply their design skills to projects where product development no longer plays a big role. Many refer to these applications as ‘service design’.

This book is aimed at people who want to learn more about the current dynamics and challenges the wave of service design brings to design practice. We critically reflect on recent developments related to service design and specifically on the consequences for the education of a new generation designers to deliver value to design practice.

It is the result of a think tank at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology with a group of 25 master students, 8 staff involved in service design research and education, and 9 design practitioners.

Dr.ir. F. Sleeswijk Visser (Froukje) is Assistant Professor, Design Conceptualization and Communication, at the Department of Industrial Design of the Technical University of Delft.

20 March 2013

Book: A History of Future Cities

a-history-of-future-cities

A History of Future Cities
by Daniel Brook
W. W. Norton & Company
2013 – 480 pages
[Amazon link]

The new book A History of Future Cities looks at the attempts of places like Dubai, Shanghai, and Mumbai to create Western-looking areas in an attempt to create a sense of modernity.

Abstract

A pioneering exploration of four cities where East meets West and past becomes future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai.

Every month, five million people move from the past to the future. Pouring into developing-world “instant cities” like Dubai and Shenzhen, these urban newcomers confront a modern world cobbled together from fragments of a West they have never seen. Do these fantastical boomtowns, where blueprints spring to life overnight on virgin land, represent the dawning of a brave new world? Or is their vaunted newness a mirage?

In a captivating blend of history and reportage, Daniel Brook travels to a series of major metropolitan hubs that were once themselves instant cities— St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Mumbai—to watch their “dress rehearsals for the twenty-first century.” Understanding today’s emerging global order, he argues, requires comprehending the West’s profound and conflicted influence on developing-world cities over the centuries.

In 1703, Tsar Peter the Great personally oversaw the construction of a new Russian capital, a “window on the West” carefully modeled on Amsterdam, that he believed would wrench Russia into the modern world. In the nineteenth century, Shanghai became the fastest-growing city on earth as it mushroomed into an English-speaking, Western-looking metropolis that just happened to be in the Far East. Meanwhile, Bombay, the cosmopolitan hub of the British Raj, morphed into a tropical London at the hands of its pith-helmeted imperialists.

Juxtaposing the stories of the architects and authoritarians, the artists and revolutionaries who seized the reins to transform each of these precociously modern places into avatars of the global future, Brook demonstrates that the drive for modernization was initially conflated with wholesale Westernization. He shows, too, the ambiguous legacy of that emulation—the birth (and rebirth) of Chinese capitalism in Shanghai, the origins of Bollywood in Bombay’s American-style movie palaces, the combustible mix of revolutionary culture and politics that rocked the Russian capital—and how it may be transcended today.

A fascinating, vivid look from the past out toward the horizon, A History of Future Cities is both a crucial reminder of globalization’s long march and an inspiring look into the possibilities of our Asian Century.

Fast Company review

The four are as much “ideas” as places, he argues–Eastern cities in agrarian backwaters that copied the West architecturally in hopes of borrowing their modernity. To whatever extent they’ve succeeded, they point the way forward for the next urban billion.

14 March 2013

Book: Present Shock – When Everything Happens Now

presentshock

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now
by Douglas Rushkoff
Current Hardcover
March 2013, 216 pages
[Amazon]

Abstract

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, explains award-winning media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, but we don’t seem to have any time in which to live it. Instead we remain poised and frozen, overwhelmed by an always-on, live-streamed re­ality that our human bodies and minds can never truly in­habit. And our failure to do so has had wide-ranging effects on every aspect of our lives.

People spent the twentieth century obsessed with the future. We created technologies that would help connect us faster, gather news, map the planet, compile knowledge, and con­nect with anyone, at anytime. We strove for an instanta­neous network where time and space could be compressed.

Well, the future’s arrived. We live in a continuous now en­abled by Twitter, email, and a so-called real-time technologi­cal shift. Yet this “now” is an elusive goal that we can never quite reach. And the dissonance between our digital selves and our analog bodies has thrown us into a new state of anxiety: present shock.

Rushkoff weaves together seemingly disparate events and trends into a rich, nuanced portrait of how life in the eter­nal present has affected our biology, behavior, politics, and culture. He explains how the rise of zombie apocalypse fic­tion signals our intense desire for an ending; how the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street form two sides of the same post-narrative coin; how corporate investing in the future has been replaced by futile efforts to game the stock market in real time; why social networks make people anxious and email can feel like an assault. He examines how the tragedy of 9/11 disconnected an entire generation from a sense of history, and delves into why conspiracy theories actually comfort us.

As both individuals and communities, we have a choice. We can struggle through the onslaught of information and play an eternal game of catch-up. Or we can choose to live in the present: favor eye contact over texting; quality over speed; and human quirks over digital perfection. Rushkoff offers hope for anyone seeking to transcend the false now.

Absorbing and thought-provoking, Present Shock is a wide-ranging, deeply thought meditation on what it means to be human in real time.

See also:
- Wall Street Journal excerpt
- New York Times review

12 March 2013

Book: Instruments de Design Management [French]

instruments

For French readers:

Instruments de design management – Théories et cas pratiques
Cabirio Cautela, Francesco Zurlo, Kamel Ben Youssef, Stéphane Magne
Préface : Gilles Rougon
Editeur : De Boeck
2012

Comment se développe un processus d’innovation guidé par le design (design driven) ? Existe-t-il des règles et des outils de design en mesure de booster l’innovation ? Comment se situe le design management par rapport aux disciplines qui traitent de l’innovation et de ses processus : le project management, le design stratégique, le métaprojet ?

Cet ouvrage veut répondre à toutes ces questions en cernant les frontières et les attributions du design management, dans une optique de gouvernance du processus d’innovation, et en définissant une variété de configurations de projets.

Le grand nombre d’instruments pratiques proposés – ainsi que la méthode RACE (Recherche, Analyse, Conceptualisation, Exécution) permettant leur classification – fournit un guide utile pour comprendre et tracer des parcours d’innovation fondés sur les méthodologies et les principes du design thinking. La structuration de l’ouvrage en chapitres enrichis de synthèses, questions, activités de réflexion et cas réels favorise l’apprentissage des principaux concepts. De plus, un site web propose des corrigés d’exercices pour l’auto-apprentissage de l’étudiant, ainsi que des ressources pédagogiques complémentaires permettant à l’enseignant d’animer des séances de cours et de travaux dirigés.

L’ouvrage s’adresse aux étudiants des cours de design et design stratégique des Écoles d’Architecture, de Design, ou des Beaux-Arts, ainsi qu’aux étudiants des cours de management de l’innovation à l’Université, en Écoles de Commerce et dans les Instituts d’Administration des Entreprises. Il est aussi destiné aux professionnels et aux managers souhaitant mieux appréhender les processus d’innovation guidés par le design.

12 March 2013

Book: Service Design – From Insight to Implementation

servicedesign

Service Design – From Insight to Implementation
by Andy Polaine, Lavrans Løvlie & Ben Reason
Rosenfeld Media – March 2013
(book will be published tomorrow)

We have unsatisfactory experiences when we use banks, buses, health services and insurance companies. They don’t make us feel happier or richer. Why are they not designed as well as the products we love to use such as an Apple iPod or a BMW?

The ‘developed’ world has moved beyond the industrial mindset of products and the majority of ‘products’ that we encounter are actually parts of a larger service network. These services comprise people, technology, places, time and objects that form the entire service experience. In most cases some of the touchpoints are designed, but in many situations the service as a complete ecology just “happens” and is not consciously designed at all, which is why they don’t feel like iPods or BMWs.

One of the goals of service design is to redress this imbalance and to design services that have the same appeal and experience as the products we love, whether it is buying insurance, going on holiday, filling in a tax return, or having a heart transplant. Another important aspect of service design is its potential for design innovation and intervention in the big issues facing us, such as transport, sustainability, government, finance, communications and healthcare.

Given that we live in a service and information age, a practical, thoughtful book about how to design better services is urgently needed.

Along with many other insights, this book offers:

  • A clear explanation of what service design is and what makes it different from other ways of thinking about design, marketing and business.
  • Service design insights, methods and case studies to help you move up the project food chain and have a bigger design impact on the entire service ecosystem.
  • Practical advice to help you sell the value of service thinking within your organisation and to clients.
  • Ways to help you develop business, design, environmental and social innovation through service design.

Also of note: Free webcast by the authors (recommended!)

25 February 2013

The problem with our data obsession

reviewdata

To Save Everything Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism
by Evgeny Morozov
Public Affairs Book, 2013
432 pages
[Amazon]

Abstract
In the very near future, “smart” technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency? What if some such problems are simply vices in disguise? What if some friction in communication is productive and some hypocrisy in politics necessary? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything—from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity—by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical, and civic behavior we may also change the very nature of that behavior. Technology, Evgeny Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement—but only if we keep solutionism in check and learn to appreciate the imperfections of liberal democracy. Some of those imperfections are not accidental but by design.
Arguing that we badly need a new, post-Internet way to debate the moral consequences of digital technologies, To Save Everything, Click Here warns against a world of seamless efficiency, where everyone is forced to wear Silicon Valley’s digital straitjacket.

Review by Brian Bergstein (MIT Technology Review)

“The quest to gather ever more information can make us value the wrong things and grow overconfident about what we know.”

“Evgeny Morozov worries that we are too often [...] opting to publish more information to increase transparency even if it undermines principles such as privacy or civic involvement. [...]

Transparency is ascending at the expense of other values, Morozov suggests, mainly because it is so cheap and easy to use the Internet to distribute data that might someday prove useful. And because we’re so often told that the Internet has liberated us from the controls that “gatekeepers” had on information, rethinking the availability of information seems retrograde—and the tendency toward openness gathers even more force.”

7 February 2013

Book: Beyond Smart Cities

bsc_cover_sm

(Wow, it covers Turin!)

Beyond Smart Cities: How Cities Network, Learn and Innovate
Tim Campbell
Routledge, 2012

The promise of competitiveness and economic growth in so-called smart cities emphasizes highly educated talent, high tech industries and pervasive electronic connections. But to really achieve smart cities — that is to create the conditions of continuous learning and innovation — this book argues that there is a need to understand what is below the surface and to examine the mechanisms which affect the way cities learn and then connect together.

This book draws on quantitative and qualitative data with concrete case studies to show how networks already operating in cities are used to foster and strengthen connections in order to achieve breakthroughs in learning and innovation. Going beyond smart cities means understanding how cities construct, convert and manipulate relationships that grow in urban environments. The eight cities discussed in this book — Amman, Barcelona, Bilbao, Charlotte, Curitiba, Portland, Seattle, and Turin — illuminate a blind spot in the literature. Each of these cities has achieved important transformations, and learning has played a key role, one that has been largely ignored in academic circles and practice concerning competitiveness and innovation.

With Forewords by Dr Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-Habitat, and Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President and Chief Globalization Officer, Cisco

CONTENTS
1- Overview
2- The Slow Emergence of Learning Cities in an Urbanizing World
3- Cities as Collective Learners: What Do We Know?
4- A Gamut of Learning Types
5- Light on a Shadow Economy: City Learning in 53 Cities
6- Informal Learners—Turin, Portland and Charlotte
7- Technical Learning: Curitiba and City Think Tanks
8- Corporate Styles: Bilbao, Seattle and Others
9- Clouds of Trust in Style
10- Taking Stock: Why Some Cities Learn and Others Do Not
11- Turning the Learning World Upside Down— Pathways Forward in Policy and Research

THE AUTHOR
Tim Campbell has worked for more than 35 years in urban development with experience in scores of countries and hundreds of cities in Latin America, South and East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. His areas of expertise include strategic urban planning, city development strategies, decentralization, urban policy, and social and poverty impact of urban development. He is chairman of the Urban Age Institute, which fosters leadership and innovation between and among cities in areas of strategic urban planning, urban policy and management, sustainable environmental planning, and poverty reduction. Campbell retired from the World Bank in December 2005 after more than 17 years working in various capacities in the urban sector. Before joining the Bank, he worked for over 13 years as a private consultant and university professor. His consulting clients included private sector firms, governments, and international organizations. He taught at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. He lived in rural and small town Costa Rica for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

7 February 2013

Book: Orchestrating Human-Centered Design

ohcd

Orchestrating Human-Centered Design
Guy Boy
Springer, 2013

The time has come to move into a more humanistic approach of technology and to understand where our world is moving to in the early twenty-first century. The design and development of our future products needs to be orchestrated, whether they be conceptual, technical or organizational. Orchestrating Human-Centered Design presents an Orchestra model that attempts to articulate technology, organizations and people. Human-centered design (HCD) should not be limited to local/short-term/linear engineering, but actively focus on global/long-term/non-linear design, and constantly identify emergent properties from the use of artifacts.

Orchestrating Human-Centered Design results from incremental syntheses of courses the author has given at the Florida Institute of Technology in the HCD PhD program. It is focused on technological and philosophical concepts that high-level managers, technicians and all those interested in the design of artifacts should consider. Our growing software -intensive world imposes better knowledge on cognitive engineering, life-critical systems, complexity analysis, organizational design and management, modeling and simulation, and advanced interaction media, and this well-constructed and informative book provides a road map for this.

(via Fabio Sergio)

20 January 2013

Book: Ethnography and the City – Readings on Doing Urban Fieldwork

ethnography_and_the_city

Ethnography and the City: Readings on Doing Urban Fieldwork
Richard E. Ocejo (Editor)
Routledge, 2012, 272 pages
(Amazon link)

The only collection of its kind on the market, this reader gathers the work of some of the most esteemed urban ethnographers in sociology and anthropology. Broken down into sections that cover key aspects of ethnographic research, Ethnography and the City will expose readers to important works in the field, while also guiding students to the study of method as they embark on their own work.

> French book review by Daniel Cefaï

26 November 2012

Book: The Human Face of Big Data

humanface

Big Data is the subject of a forthcoming glossy photo book, a smartphone application for personal data analysis and comparison, and an interactive version of the book for the iPad, reports Steve Lohr on the New York Times Bits blog. The Human Face of Big Data project is the brainchild of Rick Smolan, creator of the “Day in the Life” series of books.

Book
“The Human Face of Big Data” focuses on how data, smart software, sensors and computing are opening the door to all sorts of new uses in science, business, health, energy and water conservation. And the pictures are mostly of the people doing that work or those being affected.

App
The idea is to get as many people from around the world as possible to use the application. The program will be able to collect data on travel and movement (through the smartphone’s GPS and accelerometer), food (take a picture and shortly after the program identifies the food, including estimates of calories and fat content) and attitudes (the user answers questions posed by the app). The data will be fed into a “Measure Our World” database, and people can see how their habits and attitudes compare with others by, say, where a person lives, gender and age.

Interactive iPad book
An innovative app with enhanced stories brings The Human Face of Big Data to life.

16 November 2012

The Design for Usability book

designforusability

The Design for Usability project, that researched how best to contribute to the development of usable products, published a book that provides the product development community with a comprehensive and coherent overview of the results of the project, in such a way that they can be applied in practice.

The book outlines the studies conducted in the project, and indicates how the individual research projects are related and which of them can be applied in a coherent mode.

The 150-page booklet provides links to the DfU website, where the reader can find a manual on how to execute the method or tool presented in the booklet, as well as templates that can be used.

Design for Usability’ was started by the three Dutch technical universities in 2007. About 15 people collaborate in this project, of which 5 PhD projects can be seen as the main component. This IOP IPCR project has been partially subsidized by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The companies Océ, Philips, T-Xchange, Indes and Unilever are still closely involved in the project, by providing information and cases from their daily practice and serving as a sounding board for the project members.

(via InfoDesign)

12 November 2012

Book: Advancing Ethnography in Corporate Environments

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Advancing Ethnography in Corporate Environments: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities
Edited by Brigitte Jordan
Left Coast Press
November 2012, 224 pages
[Amazon link]

Abstract
In this innovative volume, twelve leading scholars from corporate research labs and independent consultancies tackle the most fundamental and contentious issues in corporate ethnography. Organized in pairs of chapters in which two experts consider different sides of an important topic, these provocative encounters go beyond stale rehearsals of method and theory to explore the entanglements that practitioners wrestle with on a daily basis. The discussions are situated within the broader universe of ethnographic method and theory, as well as grounded in the practical realities of using ethnography to solve problems in the business world. The book represents important advances in the field and is ideal for students and scholars as well as for corporate practitioners and decision makers.

Brigitte Jordan, PhD, an independent consulting corporate anthropologist, has held positions as Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Research on Learning, Principal Scientist at Xerox PARC, and Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development at Michigan State University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Corporate Research Award in Excellence in Science and Technology from the Xerox Corporation and the Margaret Mead Award of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. Dr. Jordan specializes in research methodologies and the design of lifescapes of the future. She is the author of almost one hundred scholarly, technical, and professional publications, some of which have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German and Japanese. Her website is www.lifescapes.org.

Download excerpt
Table of contents

4 November 2012

Book: Digital Anthropology

Layout 1

Digital Anthropology
Edited by Heather A. Horst, Daniel Miller
Berg Publishers, Oct 2012
328pp

Anthropology has two main tasks: to understand what it is to be human and to examine how humanity is manifested differently in the diversity of culture. These tasks have gained new impetus from the extraordinary rise of the digital. This book brings together several key anthropologists working with digital culture to demonstrate just how productive an anthropological approach to the digital has already become.

Through a range of case studies from Facebook to Second Life to Google Earth, Digital Anthropology explores how human and digital can be defined in relation to one another, from avatars and disability; cultural differences in how we use social networking sites or practise religion; the practical consequences of the digital for politics, museums, design, space and development to new online world and gaming communities. The book also explores the moral universe of the digital, from new anxieties to open-source ideals. Digital Anthropology reveals how only the intense scrutiny of ethnography can overturn assumptions about the impact of digital culture and reveal its profound consequences for everyday life.

Combining the clarity of a textbook with an engaging style which conveys a passion for these new frontiers of enquiry, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of anthropology, media studies, communication studies, cultural studies and sociology.

Authors/Editors
Heather A. Horst is a Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Australia.
Daniel Miller is Professor of Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, UK

Contributors
Tom Boellstorff, Heather Horst, Lane DeNicola, Faye Ginsburg, Stefana Broadbent, Danny Miller, John Postill, Jelena Karanovic, Bart Barendregt, Jo Tacchi, Adam Drazin, Haidy Geismar and Thomas Malaby