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Better for the Coffee Table than the Design Desk
on January 16, 2004
Much of Universal Principles of Design lacks depth. The reason for this is that the text needed more colloboration than it appears to have asorbed. For something that aspires to be a sort of objective compendium, the topics (and particularly the examples used) are grounded firmly within the author's sphere of knowledge. I correctly guessed both where the authors lived as well as their occupations long before I had finished reading merely because they use so many examples from Houston and software. Unfortunately, this lack of research and colloboration outside of the two authors and their own knowledge creates a shallow, uninformed book.
Universal Principles of Design is far less academic and objective than it proports. For example, if I had based one of my principles on an example I would have researched it beyond merely using internet heresay (DVORAK v. QWERTY, for example). That's not to say it isn't enjoyable, as the text itself is neat, modernist, clean and is, at times, interesting and informative. However, Universal Principles of Design lacks the academic depth needed for usability and never extends beyond introductions and formalities. The book is something that aspires to belong more on the coffee table as a chic relic of interest in design than as a usable, practical text to earmark, underline in, and really utilize as a day to day guidebook.