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Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions Hardcover – February 1, 2012


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Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions + Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design + The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bella Martin is a design practitioner and independent consultant in Atlanta, Georgia, where she brings her expertise for design research methods to companies who are new to user-centered design but eager to give their users a voice in the design process. She holds a Master of Design in Communication Planning and Information Design from Carnegie Mellon University, where she first began her ongoing work in visualizing user-centered research methods.

Bruce Hanington is an associate professor, director of graduate studies, and former program chair of industrial design in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has dedicated his teaching and research to methods and practices for human centered design, with an emphasis on design ethnography, participatory design, and the meaning of form in context. He has consulted on design projects with GE Appliance and Johnson and Johnson, and his work has been published in Design Issues, The Design Journal, and Interactions, with chapters in Designing Inclusive Futures and Design and Emotion: The Experience of Everyday Things.Bella Martin is a design practitioner and independent consultant in Atlanta, Georgia, where she brings her expertise for design research methods to companies who are new to user-centered design but eager to give their users a voice in the design process. She holds a Master of Design in Communication Planning and Information Design from Carnegie Mellon University, where she first began her ongoing work in visualizing user-centered research methods.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers; 1.2.2012 edition (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592537561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592537563
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Great contents and very helpful info.
gian
There are many more inspiring, industry-changing texts on the market, but Universal Methods of Design is simply the most valuable book in my day-to-day practice.
Arjun Dhillon
This book is at an advance design level.
Rosa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Arjun Dhillon on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a user experience designer with 10 years of experience and clients like National Geographic, Stephen Hawking, Best Buy, Bon Iver, and Harvard University, I have experience with nearly every method described in this book. Yet when I pack up to go to work or consulting gigs or client meetings or lectures or workshops, this is the first book that goes into my bag before I leave home. When I'm not carrying it with me it is usually still close at hand. There are many more inspiring, industry-changing texts on the market, but Universal Methods of Design is simply the most valuable book in my day-to-day practice.

I thought of saying that this book is to user-centered designers what Strunk's Elements of Style is to writers, but the analogy isn't quite right. Writers generally know the best practices for semicolon usage and unordered list formatting. In contrast, most people that claim the title "user experience designer" still spend the majority of their time wireframing or designing in Photoshop. It's really not your fault, it is ours; the UX community has done very little to help educate entering UX professionals, so you have likely never been exposed to most of the methods detailed in this text. You don't know how powerful a simple technique like Affinity Mapping can be, or how the investment in LEGO's Serious Play products can yield a hundred-fold return, or how an absurd hour spent writing love letters and hate letters to yourself can significantly improve a product. But for the aspiring UX designer, this book is an essential introduction to the methods used in professional experience design projects.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bruce on December 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Format and layout of this text is attractive, although I'm not sure why designers would choose to use gray 10-point sans serif font; pretty hard on the eyes.

My main complaint is that the writing style is (in my view) obscure. For example, "Prototyping in general is the tangible representation of artifacts at various levels of resolution, for development and testing of ideas within the design teams and with clients and users. However, whereas many prototypes only demand passive viewing for concept communication and review, experience prototyping fosters active participation to encounter a live experience with products, systems, services, or spaces."

Writing a technical book like this is a lot of work and I don't mean to take a cheap shot. It's just that the book would benefit greatly from some aggressive editing. The topic and ideas presented are interesting, just not very accessible.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Chave on April 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a reference book and a survey book, of one hundred current methods in design research methodology, for the fitting of a product, service or system to a user, client or customer population. The survey and the text are the product of the superb learning and research environment for these methods at Carnegie Mellon University.

Methods are listed in alphabetic order. Each is given a two page treatment; one page of text and another of figures and diagram. URLs, standard reference sources are conveniently listed on the same page, and not in an index at the back of the text. The treatment of these diverse methods in identical format makes a cross comparison of methods simple and fast. Further, an indication is given (an index of 1 through 5) of whether the method is useful at the early or the late phases of the research process so that methods can be compared within phase-catagories.

The format and page layout in the hard-copy version are such that moving between methods, and cross comparing methods will be easier in the paper format than in the electronic. At the bargain price of 24 USD this is both an affordable and very complete aid to current best practices in design survey methodology.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MC01 on August 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall this is a gorgeous & well-organized book of design/usability research techniques, presented alphabetically as well as with numeric hints indicating which are best suited to different phases of a project. I'm really looking fwd to reading the rest of the techniques once I locate a magnifying glass ;)

This is a nice hardcover book with an attractive, modern design that presents the one quibble I have so far: I find the text too small & too light, making it very hard to read. The body text is only maybe 8-9pt, and is light-middle gray in color. On white pages it is tiring to look at, and the amount of whitespace on many pages indicates they probably could've bumped up the font size juuust a tad. I had to hold the book practically up to my nose to read the first few pages (I'm early 30s & have 20/20 vision). On the whole it's an attractive design & would be a great ebook, but for the sake of legibility and usability (ironically...) it might be better w larger, darker type. The magnifying glass on the cover may actually be a suggestion. Still, the quality is great & so is the content thus far - just having to work for it a bit too much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Fineman on February 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recommend buying the hardcover version of this book. I have the Kindle version, and the layout makes it difficult to read and navigate, and the diagrams/images aren't laid out well. The hard copy on the other hand is quite nice.
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