“It contains nearly 30 essays, cartoons, instructional how-to’s, and guides from Shareable contributors. In its pages, young people tell the story of a new economy based in collaboration instead of competition, and how they’re making it a reality in their lives. Part post-college guide, part ground-breaking analysis, Share or Die is a great resource for young folks or anyone attempting to understand what it means to live as part of Generation Y.
Using eBook technologies for more than just distribution, Share or Die lets readers explore the collection in their own ways. Articles are arranged into “work” and “life” sections, as well as by tags, which encourages readers to jump around and find what interests them.
Posts in category 'Book'
Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg
Paperback, 67 pages
The Architectural League of New York
In Situated Technologies Pamphlets 8, Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg articulate the foundations of a future manifesto for an Internet of Things in the public interest. Nold and Kranenburg propose tangible design interventions that challenge an internet dominated by commercial tools and systems, emphasizing that people from all walks of life have to be at the table when we talk about alternate possibilities for ubiquitous computing. Through horizontally scaling grass roots efforts along with establishing social standards for governments and companies to allow cooperation, Nold and Kranenberg argue for transforming the Internet of Things into an Internet of People.
Download pamphlet (pdf)
by Cyrus Farivar
Rutgers University Press
Through the lens of culture, The Internet of Elsewhere looks at the role of the Internet as a catalyst in transforming communications, politics, and economics. Cyrus Farivar explores the Internet’s history and effects in four distinct and, to some, surprising societies–Iran, Estonia, South Korea, and Senegal. He profiles Web pioneers in these countries and, at the same time, surveys the environments in which they each work. After all, contends Farivar, despite California’s great success in creating the Internet and spawning companies like Apple and Google, in some areas the United States is still years behind other nations.
Skype was invented in Estonia–the same country that developed a digital ID system and e-voting;Iran was the first country in the world to arrest a blogger, in 2003; South Korea is the most wired country on the planet, with faster and less expensive broadband than anywhere in the United States; Senegal may be one of sub-Saharan Africa’s best chances for greater Internet access.
The Internet of Elsewhere brings forth a new complex and modern understanding of how the Internet spreads globally, with both good and bad effects.
Review by Curt Hopkins in ReadWriteWeb
“Instead of focusing on the capital of the Web, Silicon Valley, or even on one of the Silicon Valleys outside of the original, like Bangalore, India, Farivar has taken a look at our wired world through the lenses of South Korea, Senegal, Estonia and Iran.
There is a tendency to think of the Internet as being a priori and sui generis. This is a new world so powerful and so game-changing that it effects history and culture, no matter where one stands. Farivar’s argument, and it is a well-made one, is that like any other element of the human experience, the Internet is effected by history and culture. If we ignore that fact, if we let ourselves believe that the Internet, not history, is more of a determining factor in our future, we are liable to be surprised by it to an excessive degree.
Each of the places he covers are important to our understanding of the Internet because their histories and cultures have influenced how they have embraced it. In a way, the countries he has chosen to profile are reflections of each other, Senegal of South Korea and Estonia of Iran.”
Jo Pierson, Enid Mante-Meijer and Eugène Loos (eds.)
Peter Lang – International Academic Publishers
Recent developments in new media devices and applications have led to the rise of what have become known as ‘social media’, ‘Web 2.0’, ‘social computing’ or ‘participative web’. This shift in ICT, from unidirectional to conversational media of mass self-communication has lowered the technological thresholds for everyday users to cooperate for their own benefit, to participate in online environments and social network sites, to co-create business value and to become ‘produsers’ or ‘pro-ams’. At the same time, we see an evolution towards people-centred design and user-driven innovation in the design of new media technologies. This has created new opportunities and heightened expectations regarding user empowerment in different societal arenas.
However, the question remains to what extent users and communities interacting in an all-IP new media ecosystem are empowered (and not disempowered) to express their creativity and concerns in their social and cultural environment and to obtain a prominent role in the process of new media design and innovation. The book attempts to answer this question through a collection of chapters that scrutinise this issue. The different chapters focus on the way that social and economic opportunities and threats enable and/or constrain user empowerment.
This work consists of four major sections, each of which examines the (potential) empowerment/disempowerment of users in relation to new media technologies from a different angle. The chapters in the first section describe different theoretical perspectives on user roles and user involvement in the new media ecosystem, referring to interpretative, positivist and critical schools of thought. Based on these overall guiding frameworks, we then explore the leverage users have, both on content level and on technological level. This refers respectively to the second and third section of the book. In the fourth section different case studies are presented, each of which highlight how user empowerment manifests itself in different new media sectors and environments (such as publishing, the music industry and social networking sites).
The book is based on interdisciplinary research. It offers innovative insights based on state-of-the-art academic and industry-driven ICT user research in various European countries. This work will appeal to post-graduate students and researchers in the field of media and communication studies, social studies of technology, digital media marketing and other domains that investigate the mutual relationship between new media technologies and society.
- Yves Punie: Introduction: New Media Technologies and User Empowerment. Is there a Happy Ending?
- Enid Mante-Meijer/Eugène Loos: Innovation and the Role of Push and Pull
- Valerie Frissen/Mijke Slot: The Return of the Bricoleur: Redefining Media Business
- Serge Proulx/Lorna Heaton: Forms of User Contribution in Online Communities: Mechanisms of Mutual Recognition between Contributors
- Aphra Kerr/Stefano De Paoli/Cristiano Storni: Rethinking the Role of Users in ICT Design: Reflections for the Internet
- James Stewart/Laurence Claeys: Problems and Opportunities of Interdisciplinary Work Involving Users in Speculative Research for Innovation of Novel ICT Applications
- Marinka Vangenck/Jo Pierson/Wendy Van den Broeck/Bram Lievens: User-Driven Innovation in the Case of Three-Dimensional Urban Environments
- Mijke Slot: Web Roles Re-examined: Exploring User Roles in the Media Environment
- Philip Ely/David Frohlich/Nicola Green: Uncertainty, Upheavals and Upgrades: Digital-DIY during Life-change
- Eva K. Törnquist: In Search of Elks and Birds: Two Case Studies on the Creative Use of ICT in Sweden
- Levente Szekely/Agnes Urban: Over the Innovators and Early Adopters: Incentives and Obstacles of Internet Usage
- James Stewart/Richard Coyne/Penny Travlou/Mark Wright/Henrik Ekeus: The Memory Space and the Conference: Exploring Future Uses of Web2.0 and Mobile Internet through Design Interventions
- Sanna Martilla/Kati Hyyppä/Kari-Hans Kommonen: Co-Design of a Software Toolkit for Media Practices: P2P-Fusion Case Study
- Ike Picone: Mapping Users’ Motivations and Thresholds for Casually «Produsing» News
- Stijn Bannier: The Musical Network 2.0 & 3.0
- Enid Mante-Meijer/Jo Pierson/Eugène Loos: Conclusion: Substantiating User Empowerment
- Jo Pierson is Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Department of Communication Studies / SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication)
- Enid Mante-Meijer is emeritus Professor at Utrecht University – Utrecht School of Governance
- Eugène Loos is Professor at the University of Amsterdam – Department of Communication Science / ASCoR (Amsterdam School of Communication Research).
In 2010, the RSA published Connected Communities: How social networks power and sustain the Big Society, which explored a new approach to community regeneration based on an understanding of the importance of social networks. It argued that such an approach has the potential to bring about significant improvements in efforts to combat isolation and to support the development of resilient and empowered communities.
This paper follows on from that report, deepening the analysis to look at networks of power and influence, and in particular those who are isolated in the community. The paper argues that the government’s efforts to build the Big Society are too focused on citizen-led service delivery. An approach based on utilising and building people’s social networks, which largely determine our ability to create change and influence decisions that affect us, may prove more effective.
by Giles Colborne
New Riders, Sep 2010
Paperback, 208 pages
In a complex world, products that are easy to use win favor with consumers. This is the first book on the topic of simplicity aimed specifically at interaction designers. It shows how to drill down and simplify user experiences when designing digital tools and applications. It begins by explaining why simplicity is attractive, explores the laws of simplicity, and presents proven strategies for achieving simplicity. Remove, hide, organize and displace become guidelines for designers, who learn simplicity by seeing before and after examples and case studies where the results speak for themselves.
Based on the deep research and collective experience of PARC and other practitioners, both books draw on extensive case studies or field experience to make the areas they cover more accessible for broader audiences. The books highlight how innovations and business applications in these areas have and can give companies a real competitive edge, especially in today’s environment, where products are always at risk of being commoditized, the services sector increasingly dominates economic activity, and global competition is intensifying.
In Making Work Visible: Ethnographically Grounded Case Studies of Work Practice (Cambridge University Press, April 2011), Peggy Szymanski and co-editor Jack Whalen share how “ethnography” engagements are conducted, and how findings from these studies can lead to business impact. By applying naturalistic observation in different contexts to understand what people actually do – as opposed to only what they say they do – ethnography makes the unknown known, makes the tacit explicit, and reveals insights that would not otherwise be revealed. The embedding of social scientists in technology companies (often referred to as corporate ethnography) was pioneered at PARC in the 1970s, and has evolved here and elsewhere since. Drawing on contributions from PARC, Xerox, and other researchers throughout the world, this book demonstrates how ethnography can improve technology design and help develop better ways of working. The book focuses on case studies in production, office, home, and retail settings – including the critical “customer front.”
In Ubiquitous Computing for Business: Find New Markets, Create Better Businesses, and Reach Customers Around the World 24-7-365 (Financial Times Press, March 10, 2011), Bo Begole shares how companies can incorporate this game-changing technology into their products, services, processes, and strategies while mitigating their risks, making better decisions about “build vs. buy,” and sorting hype from real value. Conceived at PARC in the 1990s, the paradigm of ubiquitous computing – pervasive, mobile devices; embedded sensors and data; and seamless integration across physical and digital worlds – has recently exploded in the form of pervasive personalized devices and services. From the Web to the iPod, smart phones to social networks, “Ubicomp” technologies continue to interweave computing more deeply into human life than ever before, enabling massive new industries and destroying companies that can’t adapt. The book describes the general capabilities that Ubicomp technologies create, the limitations they face, and their impact across industry categories. Begole shares proven strategies for leveraging Ubicomp technologies to drive business value, illustrated with a number of real-world innovation case studies.
by Daniel Wigdor and Dennis Wixon
Paperback, 264 pages
Morgan Kaufmann, 2011
Natural user interfaces (NUIs) have been hailed as next evolutionary step in human-computer interaction. As software companies struggle to catch up with one another in terms of developing the next great touch-based interface, designers are charged with the daunting task of keeping up with the advances in NUI technology and this new aspect to user experience design.
Product and interaction designers, developers and managers are already well versed in UI design, but touch-based interfaces have added a new level of complexity. They need quick references and real world examples in order to make informed decisions when designing for these particular interfaces.
Brave NUI World is the first practical book for product and interaction developers and designing touch and gesture interfaces.
Written by the team from Microsoft that developed the multi-touch, multi-user Surface® tabletop product, this book gives you the necessary tools and information to integrate touch and gesture practices into your daily work, presenting scenarios, problem solving, metaphors, and techniques intended to avoid making mistakes.
Daniel Wigdor is UX Architect and Platform Architect at Microsoft and an Assistant Professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. Before joining U of T, he worked at Microsoft in nearly a dozen different roles, among them serving as the User Experience Architect of the Microsoft Surface product, and as a cross company expert in the creation of Natural User Interfaces. Dennis Wixon is currently Discipline Lead for Microsoft US BPD. Prior to this role he was the head of research for Microsoft Surface, and has also managed research teams at Microsoft Game Studies, and MSN/Home Products.Sample chapter
by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown
Publisher: CreateSpace – January, 2011)
Paperback, 140 pages
The 21st century is a world in constant change. In A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown pursue an understanding of how the forces of change, and emerging waves of interest associated with these forces, inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. Their understanding of what constitutes “a new culture of learning” is based on several basic assumptions about the world and how learning occurs:
- The world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter life
- Understanding play is critical to understanding learning
- The world is getting more connected that ever before – can that be a resource?
- In this connected world, mentorship takes on new importance and meaning
- Challenges we face are multi-faceted requiring systems thinking & socio-technical sensibilities
- Skills are important but so are mind sets and dispositions
- Innovation is more important than ever – but turns on our ability to cultivate imagination
- A new culture of learning needs to leverage social & technical infrastructures in new ways
- Play is the basis for cultivating imagination and innovation
By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, the authors create a vision of learning for the future that is achievable, scalable and one that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it. The result is a new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving, the personal is both enhanced and refined in relation to the collective, and the ability to manage, negotiate and participate in the world is governed by the play of the imagination.
Typically, when we think of culture, we think of an existing, stable entity that changes and evolves over long periods of time. In A New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown explore a second sense of culture, one that responds to its surroundings organically. It not only adapts, it integrates change into its process as one of its environmental variables.
The book website contains some of the authors’ talks, including one by John Seely Brown on “Tinkering as a Mode of Knowledge Production”.
Edited by Mark Shepard
Paperback, 200 pages, 2011
MIT Press in copublication with the Architectural League of New York
Our cities are “smart” and getting smarter as information processing capability is embedded throughout more and more of our urban infrastructure. Few of us object to traffic light control systems that respond to the ebbs and flows of city traffic; but we might be taken aback when discount coupons for our favorite espresso drink are beamed to our mobile phones as we walk past a Starbucks. Sentient City explores the experience of living in a city that can remember, correlate, and anticipate. Five teams of architects, artists, and technologists imagine a variety of future interactions that take place as computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets, and public spaces of the city.
“Too Smart City” employs city furniture as enforcers: a bench ejects a sitter who sits too long, a sign displays the latest legal codes and warns passersby against transgression, and a trashcan throws back the wrong kind of trash. “Amphibious Architecture” uses underwater sensors and lights to create a human-fish-environment feedback loop; “Natural Fuse” uses a network of “electronically assisted” plants to encourage energy conservation; “Trash Track” follows smart-tagged garbage on its journey through the city’s waste-management system; and “Breakout” uses wireless technology and portable infrastructure to make the entire city a collaborative workplace.
These projects are described, documented, and illustrated by 100 images, most in color. Essays by prominent thinkers put the idea of the sentient city in theoretical context.
Case studies by David Benjamin, Soo-in Yang, and Natalie Jeremijenko; Haque Design + Research; SENSEable City Lab; David Jimison and JooYoun Paek; and Anthony Townsend, Antonina Simeti, Dana Spiegel, Laura Forlano, and Tony Bacigalupo
Essays by Martijn de Waal, Keller Easterling, Matthew Fuller, Anne Galloway, Dan Hill, Omar Khan, Saskia Sassen, Trebor Scholz, Hadas Steiner, Kazys Varnelis, and Mimi Zeiger
Mark Shepard is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Media Study at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and an editor of the Situated Technologies pamphlet series, published by the Architecture League of New York.
(via Stowe Boyd)
Paperback, 376 pages
AltaMira Press; Second edition
The Ethnographer’s Toolkit series begins with this primer, which introduces novice and expert practitioners alike to the process of ethnographic research, including answers to questions like: who should and can do ethnography, when it is used most fruitfully, and how research projects are carried out from conceptualization to the uses of research results. Written in practical, straightforward language, this new edition defines the qualitative research enterprise, links research strategies to theoretical paradigms, and outlines the ways in which an ethnographic study can be designed. Use Designing and Conducting Ethnographic Research as a guide to the entire Toolkit or as a stand-alone introduction to ethnographic research.
Margaret D. LeCompte is professor of education and sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Jean J. Schensul, founding director of the Institute for Community Research, continues as full time Senior Scientist. She holds adjunct appointments in the departments of Anthropology and Community Medicine at the University of Connecticut and directs qualitative methods and ethnography in the interdisciplinary research methods core of the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS.
A book in progress by Nathan Shedroff & Chris Noessel
Publisher: Rosenfeld Media
Anticipated publication date: 2012
Science fiction has remained a pastime for designers, instead of a valuable source of insight and learning until now. Make It So, a book in progress by Nathan Shedroff and Chris Noessel, will be the first book to connect the inspiring “blue sky” designs of scifi with your own work in interaction design.
Interaction and interface designers can learn practical lessons from the interfaces in Science Fiction films and television. Though lacking rigorous engagement with users, production designers are nonetheless allowed to develop influential “blue-sky” examples that are inspiring, humorous, prophetic, useful, and can be incorporated into “real” work to make online, mobile, and ubiquitous interfaces more interesting and more successful. This book will share lessons and examples culled from imaginative interfaces free from traditional constraints. In addition, the authors will outline their process of investigation and describe a toolkit for others to make similar explorations into other domains.
Make It So will show how:
* SciFi interfaces allow us to see current issues from fresh perspectives, testing design techniques we don’t always expect but are, nonetheless, applicable to current work
* SciFi is a design tool like any other
* All design is already fiction (until it gets built)
* If it works for an audience, there’s something there that works for users
* Interaction designers can be inspired by a source they already love.
It provides an introduction as to how Inclusive Design can be used as a strategy for better business and as an opportunity for profitable innovation.
At the time the book was not yet widely available. But now it has its own website, where people can purchase a hard copy (for 19.90 euro) or download an extract for free.
Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell
MIT Press, April 2011, 264 pages
Amazon page | MIT Press page
Ubiquitous computing (or “ubicomp”) is the label for a “third wave” of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, ubicomp is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet-enabled phones, GPS devices, wireless networks, and “smart” domestic appliances.
In Divining a Digital Future, computer scientist Paul Dourish and cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research program and the contemporary practices that have emerged–both the motivating mythology and the everyday messiness of lived experience.
Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the authors’ collaboration, the book takes seriously the need to understand ubicomp not only technically but also culturally, socially, politically, and economically. Dourish and Bell map the terrain of contemporary ubiquitous computing, in the research community and in daily life; explore dominant narratives in ubiquitous computing around such topics as infrastructure, mobility, privacy, and domesticity; and suggest directions for future investigation, particularly with respect to methodology and conceptual foundations.
Paul Dourish is Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and in Anthropology. He conducts research in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and social studies of science and technology. Before joining UC Irvine, he was a Senior Member of Research Staff at Xerox PARC.
Genevieve Bell is an Intel Fellow and the Director of Intel’s first user-focused research and development lab, Interaction and Experience Research. A cultural anthropologist, she studies the relationship between information technology and cultural practice both in technology design and in settings of everyday use. Before joining Intel, she taught Anthropology and American Studies at Stanford University.
“While his book doesn’t exactly provide hard and fast rules for taming complexity, it does a very good job of framing the problem. After all, when the aspects of a problem are laid out clearly, problems begin to appear progressively less complex. Along the way, as Norman explains the problem, his text is accompanied by the usual assortment of author photographs of awkward and difficult devices. Digressing from the paradoxical nature of choosing from two rolls of toilet paper in a public restaurant to the “desire lines” caused by human behavior (creases in books and dead spots in public meadows where people walk), Norman covers social signifiers. He addresses forcing functions, grouping and countless other design/behavior problems. Norman even devotes an entire chapter to the nature of waiting in line (nearly every hospital does it wrong, and our recent visit to the Apple store on Prince Street showed that even Apple had stopped listing the names and timing of those in the queue, much to this reviewer’s consternation).”
“Kolko’s book is subtitled “A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis,” and this reviewer joked that it sounded like an undergraduate film or semiotics course. Kolko himself states that “the ability to ‘be playful’ is critical to achieve deep and meaningful synthesis,” but the tenor of the tome is far from the giant grin the author wears while using carrots as a “phone” on the cover of his previous work. Exposing the Magic of Design is blunt, direct, serious and self-assured. At less than 200 pages and full of diagrams, processes and methods, Kolko certainly didn’t have time for any hand-holding. In this era of easy distraction, Exposing the Magic‘s interaction design requires complete attention. Perhaps that’s the way the author meant it.”
I strongly concur with the reviewer and recommend this book for all UX practitioners.
Disclosure: Some months back I was asked by Oxford University Press to read the manuscript and write a few sentences to use on the book’s jacket and in marketing copy. I have no idea whether my few lines have been published.
In her new book Alone Together, she shares her ambivalence about the overuses of technology, which, she writes, “proposes itself as the architect of our intimacies.” The book completes a trilogy of investigations into the ways humans interact with technology.
Fast Company spoke recently with Turkle about connecting, solitude, and how that compulsion to always have your BlackBerry on might actually be hurting your company’s bottom line.
By Arnie Lund
Morgan Kaufmann Publishers (Elsevier)
The role of UX manager is of vital importance — it means leading a productive team, influencing businesses to adopt user-centered design, and delivering valuable products customers. Few UX professionals who find themselves in management positions have formal training in management. More often than not they are promoted to a management position after having proven themselves as an effective and successful practitioner.Yet as important as the position of manager is to the advancement of the field there are no books that specifically address the needs of user experience managers. Though information is available on the Web, nothing ties that advice together in the way a manager would need to integrate it in their work.
User Experience Management speaks directly to the UX manager and to the unique challenges one may face. It outlines the robust framework for how to be an effective UX manager, from creating a team, to orchestrating product development, to ensuring UX is not compromised, to achieving company buy-in on results. This acts as a checklist readers can use to make sure they have covered the bases as they think about how to build their own user experience programs. Written by an experienced UX manager, and containing testamonials from many leading managers in the field, managers both current and aspiring will find this an invaluable reference loaded with ideas and techniques for managing user experience.
Arnie Lund is Director of User Experience and User Experience Community Lead for Microsoft’s IT organization. He also serves on Microsoft’s User Experience Leadership Team. Before moving to IT, he served as the Director of User Experience for the Mobile and Tablet Computing area and helped to ship the recent Vista operating system. Arnie has spent more than 20 years working in the area of user experience and emerging technologies. He began his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories managing both human factors and systems engineering teams. He then moved to one of the companies that emerged from AT&T to help Ameritech build its own Science and Technology organization, where he managed user experience as well as new product ideation. From there he led exploratory software development and user experience teams at US West Advanced Technologies, and information architecture and emerging technology research at Sapient (a leading internet consultancy).
by Jakob Schneider and Marc Stickdorn
Book Industry Services (BIS)
16 Dec 2010
Hardcover, 376 pages
Publisher’s page – Book blog – Amazon page
This is Service Design Thinking introduces an inter-disciplinary approach to designing services. Service design is a bit of a buzzword these days and has gained a lot of interest from various fields. This book, assembled to describe and illustrate the emerging field of service design, was brought together using exactly the same co-creative and user-centred approaches you can read and learn about inside. The boundaries between products and services are blurring and it is time for a different way of thinking: this is service design thinking.
A set of 23 international authors and even more online contributors from the global service design community invested their knowledge, experience and passion together to create this book.
It introduces service design thinking in manner accessible to beginners and students, it broadens the knowledge and can act as a resource for experienced design professionals. Besides an introduction to service design thinking through five basic principles, a selection of individual perspectives demonstrate the similarities and differences between various disciplines involved in the design of services. Additionally, the book outlines an iterative design process and showcases 25 adaptable service design tools, exemplifying the practice of service design with five international case studies. The book concludes with an insight into the current state of service design research and sets service design thinking in a philosophical context.
In collaboration with: (in alphabetical order) Kate Andrews (UK), Beatriz Belmonte (E), Ralf Beuker (GER), Fergus Bisset (UK), Kate Blackmon (UK), Johan Blomkvist (SE), Simon Clatworthy (NO), Lauren Currie (UK), Sarah Drummond (UK), Jamin Hegeman (USA), Stefan Holmlid (SE), Luke Kelly (NL), Lucy Kimbell (UK), Satu Miettinen (FI), Asier Pérez (E), Bas Raijmakers (NL), Jakob Schneider (GER), Fabian Segelström (SE), Marc Stickdorn (A), Renato Troncon (IT), Geke van Dijk (NL), Arne van Oosterom (NL), and Erik Widmark (S).
First, Norman has a huge reputation, also outside of our professional UX sphere. His books are often the first (and sometimes the only ones) that managers, academics, policy makers and business people will read if they want to know something more about user experience. And he does an excellent job at living up to that reputation by making the difficult digestible and easy to grasp, understand and implement in daily practice.
During a recent trip to Korea, I was again reminded of how influential Norman is, and frankly said, we have an excellent spokesperson in him advocating our field to an extremely important non-UX audience (who often become our clients and interlocutors).
This book is his latest contribution in sharing our practice, as it explains how the often heard strive for simplicity is a mistaken ambition, and that designers – interaction and service designers in particular – need to concentrate instead on supporting people in managing the necessary complexities of daily life.
The second reason why I like Norman’s writing is that he sometimes manages to explain an idea with greater clarity than I have ever read before – and it that sense he can also teach us, UX professionals a lesson. Take this little story about how the field of interaction design came about and how it evolved (page 143-144):
“Most of my work has been with computer and telecommunication companies and with startup firms that make use of these technologies. These companies manufacture electronic products: computers, cameras, cell phones, navigation systems, and so on. In the early days of these new technologies, people had enormous difficulties understanding and using them. These were interactive devices, where an action by a person would lead to a change of state of the machine and then the requirement to do some new action. In many cases the person and the device had to engage in a form of conversation in order to set up the right parameters for the action that was to take place. As a result of the difficulties being faced, computer scientists, psychologists and other social scientists, and designers developed a new discipline, interaction design, to figure out the most appropriate ways of handling the interactions. As the technologies have evolved, and as the sophistication of the people using them has increased, the field of interaction design has had to deal with more and more advanced techniques and philosophies of interaction. From understanding and usability the field expanded to incorporate emotional factors, toward a focus on experience and enjoyment. Today, more and more products contain hidden, embedded microprocessors (computers) and communication chips. As a result, interaction design is now a major component of almost all design.”
Norman then goes on to define service design with the same clarity, which he considers – rightfully – to be “far more complex than product design.”
Finally, while the book can sometimes seem a little digressive, Norman does a great job in tying it all together in the final chapters, where he presents a series of cleverly structured design principles for managing complexity – to be used by design educators, design students, young professionals and senior designers alike – and a number crucial challenges that address the larger social, cultural and business ecosystem of our work.