This book's layout is itself an experience in experience design. With its dynamic typography and visually elusive chapter divisions, it is definitely not a how-to manual, or even a primer on software. It's more like a visual and textual think-piece: a personal gallery of intriguing user experiences, e.g., online shopping or offline dinner parties--even human-to-human conversation. (You can get an idea of this at the book's companion Web site: www.experiencedesignbooks.com.)
Every spread is filled with images (in some cases, the very typography is like an image) that illustrate specific issues in experience design. Examples range from Web sites to traffic signs to restaurants. Whether discussing a young woman's online diary (www.moments.org); the seating arrangements at Emeril's Delmonico restaurant in New Orleans; the complaint community at www.kvetch.com; the garden-like bounty of Nokia cell phone covers; or the "simpler" experiences of matches, tarot cards, or Bang & Olufsen home media products, author Shedroff invites readers to figure out what the attraction is, what keeps the user engaged, and how the experience gets resolved. Among the general topics explored are navigation in information design, usability in interface design, and narrative structure in interaction design. All come with both online and offline examples (e.g., the Louvre for "offline" navigation and www.thehungersite.com for online usability).
Shedroff is an experience strategist and has designed experiences in a variety of media, especially interactive and information design and branding. His client list includes Herman Miller, Nike, Bell Atlantic, Swissbank, and Microsoft. In 1995, I.D. named him one of the 40 most important designers in the country. Here his analyses, like the form of the book, are open and flowing. Whether he's discussing wayfinding, personal meaning, or the use of metaphoric devices, Shedroff raises important questions for anyone involved in design today. In many ways, this book is like a list of author's faves--albeit, a list in which each item illuminates some kernel of contemporary design wisdom. --Angelynn Grant
"A stunning book that would be equally at home in the art or IT sections of the bookshop."Freelance Informer, Aug 2001 "It provides a visually eclectic assortment of sources."WEBSPACE, Aug 2001
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