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Designing Gestural Interfaces: Touchscreens and Interactive Devices [Kindle Edition]

Dan Saffer
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 0596518390
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0596518394
  • Edition: 1

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Book Description

If you want to get ahead in this new era of interaction design, this is the reference you need. Nintendo's Wii and Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch have made gestural interfaces popular, but until now there's been no complete source of information about the technology.

Designing Gestural Interfaces provides you with essential information about kinesiology, sensors, ergonomics, physical computing, touchscreen technology, and new interface patterns -- all you need to know to augment your existing skills in "traditional" web design, software, or product development. Packed with informative illustrations and photos, this book helps you:

  • Get an overview of technologies surrounding touchscreens and interactive environments
  • Learn the process of designing gestural interfaces, from documentation to prototyping to
  • communicating to the audience what the product does
  • Examine current patterns and trends in touchscreen and gestural design
  • Learn about the techniques used by practicing designers and developers today
  • See how other designers have solved interface challenges in the past
  • Look at future trends in this rapidly evolving field

Only six years ago, the gestural interfaces introduced in the film Minority Report were science fiction. Now, because of technological, social, and market forces, we see similar interfaces deployed everywhere. Designing Gestural Interfaces will help you enter this new world of possibilities.



Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Touchscreens and Interactive Devices

About the Author

Dan Saffer is an experience design director for Adaptive Path who has designed and built websites, applications, and devices since 1995. An international speaker and author, his acclaimed book Designing for Interaction has been called "a bookshelf must-have for anyone thinking of creating new designs" (Jared Spool, CEO of UIE) and has been translated into several languages.


Product Details

  • File Size: 23862 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 20, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR2H2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners and newcomers only December 31, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have been a designer for the past five years and have some experience with touchscreen or interactive surfaces of one kind or another, then Designing Gestural Interfaces is not for you. This book is best for the beginner as its content is very basic and superficial. There is no deep thinking or insights here. Unfortunately, the occassional good topic is glossed over and your left with only the beginning of an idea.

It's true that designing for gestural interfaces is a relatively new area, but the author presents the reader with general and basic design information that has been known and practiced for many years and not nearly enough useful information about gesture design. For example, in the chapter on Prototyping Interactive Gestures, the author talks about the purpose and value of low-fidelity prototyping, but offers nothing related to gestural UI design; no hints, tips, tricks, pitfalls, solutions, etc. In this regard, I found myself getting frustrated many times throughout the whole book.

In general, the book reads like an introductory design book, a primer of sorts, updated to include gestures. I suspect that within the next year or so, updated versions of this book or even other books / articles will come out that offer much deeper insights. If you're a veteran designer, save your money and spend your time wisely reading other more insightful books.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginning concepts November 29, 2008
Format:Paperback
There is not one line of code in this book. This text is about how gestures in the air and on surfaces can replace or augment the commands given by mice, keypads, and stylii. It is a broad overview, and contains few concrete details about how you would actually implement such systems in detail. For example, there is no "start to finish" design that is so common in O'Reilly books of this type. The author mainly just goes through what it takes to get your thoughts organized in such a way to design such systems. Each chapter has some very good "further reading" recommendations. You'll come away from this book knowing the issues involved in designing gestural interfaces, but not much more. I guess I was just expecting something meatier. For something meatier but a bit older I would recommend Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers. The table of contents for this book is not yet included in the product description, so I do that next:

Chapter 1. Introducing Interactive Gestures
Section 1.1. TAP IS THE NEW CLICK
Section 1.2. DIRECT VERSUS INDIRECT MANIPULATION
Section 1.3. A BRIEF HISTORY OF GESTURAL INTERFACES
Section 1.4. THE MECHANICS OF TOUCHSCREENS AND GESTURAL CONTROLLERS
Section 1.5. DESIGNING INTERACTIVE GESTURES: THE BASICS
Section 1.6. DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE GESTURE
Section 1.7. FOR FURTHER READING
Chapter 2. Designing for the Human Body
Section 2.1. BASIC KINESIOLOGY
Section 2.2. THE ERGONOMICS OF INTERACTIVE GESTURES
Section 2.3. THE ERGONOMICS OF MOTION
Section 2.4. DESIGNING TOUCH TARGETS
Section 2.5. FOR FURTHER READING
Chapter 3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good reference book November 5, 2012
Format:Paperback
Designing Gestural Interfaces is a great resource for those interested in developing or research in gestural interfaces. Designing Gestural Interfaces provides you with essential information about kinesiology, sensors, ergonomics, physical computing, touchscreen technology, and new interface patterns.
Dan Saffer is well-versed in interaction design and provides a good starting point for understanding the interaction principles behind gestural control. I appreciate how Saffer clarifies the technical terms before proceeding. More often that not, some of these terms are misinterpreted and wrongly informs the reader. The book later breaks down in a technical manner the basics of gestural interactions and various related topics which are often overlooked.
The methodical flow of the analysis of gestural interactions facilitated an organised thought process and evaluation of techniques. Designing Gestural Interfaces is not as detailed as books which focuses on specific platforms such as mobile web interfaces but provides a broader outlook on the use of gestural control as an interaction model. Even though it may be a dry read at times, it certainly deserves a spot on the reference bookshelf.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Getting Started with Gestural Interfaces July 26, 2010
Format:Paperback
With all the work that is happening in the world of mobile and gaming consoles around the area of gesture and touch I was looking for a book that was interesting and engaging and helped define the rules of engagement for the technologies used.

The book is well written and gives a good overview of touch and gesture design and techniques but does fall a short on the detail I was looking for. The book works well in defining the different types of gestures and their possible uses. Photographs and illustrations back this up and it is a good starting point for those wishing to be informed and learn about these technologies. It would also be a helpful book for starting out designing a touch or gesture application, but I would have liked seen more time spent on exploring how to implement solutions using these techniques.

Overall a good book but would be really suitable for someone at beginner level, it serves well as an introduction but does not go into enough detail for an experienced developer or designer.
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More About the Author

Dan Saffer is Director of Interaction Design at Smart Design and the author of four books: Designing for Interaction, Designing Gestural Interfaces, Designing Devices, and Microinteractions.

Since 1995, Dan has designed devices, software, websites, robots, and services that are currently used by millions every day. He speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on interaction design all over the world. He and his products have been in BusinessWeek, Fast Company, and Wired, and his design innovations have received several patents.

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