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Designing for People Paperback – November 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
I found this book very pleasant to read, because Dreyfuss explains his approach to design consulting in an almost anecdotal way without sacrificing the seriousness of the subject. For example, while discussing the importance of investigating users needs, he tells stories about having driven locomotives, spread manure, and performing service calls for the phone company. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the tone of the book lacked the kind of egoism often seen in books like this. Dreyfuss uses language like "we," "our contribution," and "the industrial designer," and includes examples of mistakes and missteps as well as good design examples. In fact, chapter 15, "Not by Design," is devoted to instances where the practitioners made errors and mistaken assumptions.
I recommend reading this book; the design principles put forth transcend many years, and it is as entertaining as it is informative..
That said, Dreyfuss does tend to come across very matter-of-factly at times, leaving little gray area in his black and white world. As a result Mr. Dreyfuss sides with the Bauhaus approach where form follows function-indeed, he often mentions the resulting form of a product as a side-note, if he mentions it at all. Whereas this may be an annoyance for some readers, the lessons you take away from his life experiences are truly informative and insightful.
As the amount of 3D design in product development grows, designers today are faced with the difficulty of "skin designing" verses thoughtful, foundation-based designing. If nothing else, this book should serve as inspiration for those of us in the field to design based on function and aesthetics-we have a duty and responsibility to client and society to base designs on research and thoughtfulness, not simply the known tools in a computer program. In any case, DFP should be on the required reading list for industrial design students to teach the history and guidelines of our profession. "Designing for People" serves as not only a reminder of the way it used to be, but it also inspires the designer to believe how it should be now.
This book gives insight on many of the thought processes involved in the face of the many projects where he had essentially zero direct experience in. His unrelenting focus on "Joe and Josephine" -- the human actually using the product -- has resulted in an array of user-friendly products, even before that term was used.
He also covers almost anything to do with industrial design, or running an industrial design firm, including starting off, relationships with clients, payment issues, staff management, etc.
This book would be interesting for anyone interested in design in general, or even the merely curious who would like to know why some everyday objects are the way they are.
An easy and interesting read.
An interesting comparison is contrast Designing for People to Tim Brown's Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation released 54 years after. It seems reasonable to ask if the field of design has developed at all, maybe except for branding. It seems that the office of Dreyfuss was essentially practicing all methods under the mindset of "design thinking" Brown presented as the holy grail of organizational innovation.
The book holds a quite detailed account of the operation of Henry Dreyfuss and one might call it an autobiography. Biography in a form of a vitae and an industrial design business cook book. This is also the problem of the tome. At best, it provides insights and details, reports from the past which would be otherwise unattainable. At worst, it reads out as a (poorly) guided tour to a trophy room. A short story after short story in an identical format, describing yet another Dreyfuss victory in some exotic field of design. This is emphasized by the result-oriented style of the narrator, which always describes the glorious outcome of the design process, where as the process receives less attention.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic. Dreyfus was the first designer to write about how things should be designed to work they way people think they should. Read morePublished 3 months ago by michael peachey
A book written many years ago by a great industrial designer. Lots of great information which is still pertinent today.Published 8 months ago by Virginia A. Plihcik
The book show a lot of examples about industrial design, how the people influence it the new designs for a better use.Published 10 months ago by Het
Beautiful and inspiring book. Wonderful little drawings in the margins to add to the feeling of the creative process involved. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Chelsea Finch
The kindle edition is RIDDLED with typos ("1" that should be "I", etc.).
It was very difficult to read at the beginning as I adjusted to the... Read more
It is really great book. Henry was really great designer. I would recommend this book for all designers. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Michal Manak
This book is the first step in making sure that you are designing with the user in mind. Even with the age of the book the ideals of it still hold true just as much as they did... Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Matt
In the start you learn a lot about his approach to problems but then later on in the book Mr, Dreyfuss spends him time talking about all of the products he has made.Published on February 18, 2013 by Ateev Gupta
Dreyfuss is a genious. This is a terrific tool for any designer, regardless of what they're designing. Great buy, I recommend.Published on January 31, 2013 by Rustan M.