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Deconstructing Product Design: Exploring the Form, Function, Usability, Sustainability, and Commercial Success of 100 Amazing Products Hardcover – November 1, 2009
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About the Author
William Lidwell is the Director of Design at Stuff Creators Design in Houston, Texas. He is author of the best-selling design book, Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into 12+ languages; Deconstructing Product Design, a social deconstruction of 100 classic products; and lecturer of two video series on design: "How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals" available from The Great Courses, and "The Science of Logo Design" available from Lynda.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, things to nitpick are glaring: A lot of the text is pretty subjective ("I...," "I...," "I...," all the way through). The "qualitative ratings" are supposed to be objective, but given that the reader can directly compare one product to the next, for example the Vespa to a Vodka Bottle, it is a guess that these are also subjective (The book says the Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic handgun is more usable than Bic pen or a Refrigerator. An industrially manufactured and battery-hungry Maglite is as equally sustainable as the Pot-in-Pot Cooler). "Deconstructing" in the title is a bit mis-leading... it would have been grand if it would have given the reader more than one image or picture per product (to help explain form or workings), information on manufacturing procedures, a price range, any variations, or dates of manufacture for the items that are no longer made. It is hard not to notice that some of the images are not even real pictures of the product, but somebody's obvious attempt at computer rendering-they look terribly fake. The many professional contributors to this book are knowledgeable and respected, so for a few instances, why did this book choose to print their input when their contribution didn't add anything useful, or worse, when they openly disclosed that they haven't owned, used, or even touched the products they are reviewing?
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Of course, a nicely designed product might not translate to commercial success. All the examples featured are also ranked on attributes like aesthetic, function, usability, sustainability and the commercial success.
This is a nice classy book on product design. Highly recommended to product designers.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)