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Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342432060
ISBN-10: 0321432061
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Explore the new design discipline that is behind such products as the iPod and innovative Web sites like Flickr. While other books on this subject are either aimed at more seasoned practitioners or else are too focused on a particular medium like software, this guide will take a more holistic approach to the discipline, looking at interaction design for the Web, software, and devices. It is  the only interaction design book that is coming from a designers point of view rather than that of an engineer.

This much-needed guide is more than just a how-to manual. It covers interaction design fundamentals, approaches to designing, design research, and more, and spans all mediums—Internet, software, and devices. Even robots! Filled with tips, real-world projects, and interviews, you'll get a solid grounding in everything you need to successfully tackle interaction design.

Designing for Interactionis an AIGA Design Press book, published under Peachpit's New Riders imprint in partnership with AIGA.

About the Author

Dan Saffer has worked for the last decade in the digital medium as a webmaster, producer, developer, copywriter, creative lead, information architect, and interaction designer. He is currently a senior interaction designer at Adaptive Path, a leading design consultancy and has designed and built Web sites, devices, and applications for companies as diverse as Tiffany & Co and the World Wrestling Federation. His work has been featured in New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and the Chicago Tribune. His Web site and blog can be found at www.odannyboy.com. Dan is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and received his Master of Design in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also taught interaction design.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (July 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321432061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321432063
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,294,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very excited waiting for this book and after reading the reviews I decided to buy it. After reading it, I'm wondering if the reviewers actually read the book??? I spent some time writing this because I would like to see books better written and more useful. This is just my opinion, so read other reviews as well.

*Book direction*
Dan tried to cover too much. After all "interaction" is an extremely broad term and I think it would be much better if the book would focus more on "Interactive Systems Design", the design for interactions in systems and technology. Jesse James Garrett, did an excellent job in his book The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web by focusing it on web applications, although you can extrapolate what you learn there to a more general approach of UX. I believe that if Dan would have done the same, the book would became an excellent book and a reference book.

In my opinion, Saffer could have made this book into a reference book by being the Editor and writing about what he knows best, e.g., craft of Interaction Design (IxD):
- Each chapter could have been written by an expert in that area
- The introduction is very general, with statement that I don't really agree and I felt it is very personal - what Dan things about IxD. I read it all for the safe of being entitled to write this, but I didn't find it useful at all.

*Great*
- The Interviews: they cover very interesting topics and reading them gives a very quick and excellent insights of the topics they cover. (On the other hand, the text in the book repeats the interview points instead of going deeper).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dan's book is an excellent primer on Interaction Design, one I'd reccommend to new and veteran practicioners. Although I've docked it a star for its lack of footnotes or even bibliography, it covers a lot of ground in a very readable way.

I especially like that Dan's avoided the easy path of just pointing out bad design, instead he really analyzes what makes *good* designs work. He's to be applauded, too, for including design approaches besides User-Centered Design. Other books in the field treat UCD as gospel; Dan puts other (and often more pragmatic) approaches on equal footing with UCD, rather than making designers who don't do round after round of usability testing feel guilty about it.

The book's punctuated by a series of interviews, which are fun to read. As another reviewer points out, the inclusion of Service Design, as well as the content in the last chapter (robots, ubiquitous computing, intelligent agents) makes the book timely and provacative.

I do wish "Designing for Interaction" had at least a section "for further reading" or selected bibliography. It's a bit of a dead end as it stands--where could I go to learn more about Service Design, for example? Dan's standing on the shoulders of a lot of other peoples' work here; I'd have liked to see this introductory text lead interested readers on to other books and articles.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reads like the author sat down on a weekend afternoon, typed out a draft and simply published it. The text is basically a sequence of obvious statements. In fact, this book is so bad I don't want to waste many words reviewing it. So I am going to randomly select 4 sentences from this book:

- Most applications and devices that interaction designers design have some sort of visible controls for the user to use to manipulate the features of the product. pg 136
- Designers should be open and nonjudgemental and should not assume that they know the answer beforehand. pg 80
- It is more important now than ever before that our digital tools have the characteristics of good interaction design baked into them. pg 203
- The system needs an assortment of responses to deal with a range of situations. pg 38

Believe me, I haven't chosen these lines consciously - I closed my eyes, turned to some page, put my finger down and typed the sentence my finger landed on. The whole book is filled with such drivel.

I wish I could give this item a rating of zero. Spend your money elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The useful information in this book could be condensed into a 10 page article. The rest of the book is just irrelevant or uninformative photos, self evident ideas, and short interviews with designers. There is knowledge for designers between the covers - but not a bookload. This book tells you how to go about researching for design, but doesn't tell you anything about what other researchers have learned.
If you are looking for a book that helps you decide how to position the controls and labels on your latest widget, this isn't it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Boys and girls, do yourself a favor and check which edition you need of this textbook BEFORE you buy it. Amazon did that handy "Kindle edition" link when I searched for the 2nd edition of this book and then lo and behold, a few months later I realize that I've actually purchased the 1st edition on my Kindle and the two are quite different. I learned this after the 7-day return window, however, so now I've payed for this book twice because I was too dumb to check the citation before using that 1-click-buy button.
This edition also does not have actual page numbers in it, which is awful for properly citing it.
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