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Designing Interactions (MIT Press) 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262134743
ISBN-10: 0262134748
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An engaging, informative, and enjoyable history of interaction design that helps us appreciate the contributions of some incredible people who shaped this corner of the design field. What fun!

(Dan Boyarski, Professor and Head, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University)

All in all, I cannot recommend this book too highly: it is fascinating, stimulating and illuminating.

(Professor Tom Wilson Information Research)

During the past forty years, interaction designers have powerfully transformed the daily lives of billions. Designing Interactions is a deeply knowing, intimate portrayal of these people: who they are, how they think, and precisely what they do. If you live or work with computers or cell phones -- and who among us has any choice about that? -- then you owe it to yourself to read this. A labor of love that was years in the making, this classic has no rival in its field.

(Bruce Sterling, author of Shaping Things)

Designing Interactions offers multiple interfaces in its own right. It's not just a well-designed, nicely indexed book, with a heft that strains the tendons (the back of my review copy cracked after only a few hours of gentle use), but also an enclosed DVD with interviews, and a website (designinginteractions.com) that includes a weekly downloadable chapter. There's an inherent lesson in this arrangement, which is the value of choice. The very randomness of Moggridge's archive shows the truest quality of good interaction design: personality.

(I.D. Magazine)

This is one hell of a book...Part history lesson, part computer science thesis, part design education, part personal design philosophy, it is fascinating, inspirational, occasionally baffling, and often hilarious.

(Helen Walters BusinessWeek.com)

This will be the book that summarizes how the technology of interaction came into being and prescribes how it will advance in the future. Written by the designer who was there, who helped make it happen, who pioneered the digital revolution. Essential, exciting, and a delight for both eyes and mind.

(Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group and Northwestern University, author of Emotional Design)

About the Author

The award-winning designer Bill Moggridge, pioneer in interaction design and integrating human factors disciplines into design practice, was Director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City and a founder of IDEO, the famous innovation and design firm.
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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 766 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262134748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262134743
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(I originally gave this book a more positive review. Amazon won't let me change the star rating. I give this book TWO stars, not four.)

This book is fairly impressive at first glance. Seven-hundred plus pages, adequately footnoted, and nicely designed. I can't imagine anyone in the field of interaction design not enjoying cracking open Moggridge's book.

But "Designing Interactions" isn't quite what I thought it would be, and my first optimistic impressions were terribly wrong. It is, as Bruce Sterling's blurb describes it, "a labor of love." It's really "The History of Designing Interactions." More specifically, it's "The History of how Bill Moggridge, his company IDEO, and A Few Other People Mostly in California Designed Interactions." It's something of a hagiography--biographies of designer-saints, whose every effort was nothing less than beautiful, innovative, useable and useful. Failures, missteps, or significant-but-ugly designs (Windows 3.1 gets about a sentence) are minimized. That makes it feel like something of a whitewash.

It actually reminds me a lot of "The Art of Unix Programming" in its combination of cultural and technological history, mixed with practical sections. But where the people in "The Art of Unix Programming" come across as modest smart people, sort of tinkering along inventing an entire paradigm, Moggridge's subjects are sort of bathed in this golden California glow of eternal optimistic technophilia; it's not that the design of buttons and menus isn't a moral, cultural, and aesthetic imperative (cause it is), but in Moggridge's text it just all feels a little...inevitable. It's also historically dubious. Moggridge doesn't use interviews well, and they seem to be basically his only research here.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a terribly self-indulgent view of interaction design. There is no real analysis in this book or critical thinking. It's mostly a collection of simple stories from companies or efforts that Moggridge likes. There is no real theory offered here, only anecdotes. It's also a very Silicon Valley-centric view of the world. If you are looking for a partial history of interesting "interaction" design efforts, this book may be for you. Though, perhaps, not at the price it sells for.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great history book of interaction and product design by the heavy hitters in the digital industry. It's great for history, but if you want a book to learn from, this is not it. It's a huge collection of 42 interviews and is 735 pages with a lot of photos of how those experts did it. The last chapter, which is 94 pages, is the main chapter you can learn from. And there are 22 completely blank pages in the book. I would have been happy if they would have at least put some interaction design principles on those 22 pages. They could have really packed a lot of useful material on how to design interactions. (And they could use the enclosed CD to follow-up on those 22 pages with some great visual material and then you would have a complete course on "Designing Interactions") That's what the name of the book is, "Designing Interactions". I challenge them to put together a "design team" for the next edition and put the most important principles of interaction design on those 22 pages! I bet they can't or won't do it! Just think how much more valuable a book it would be. Then it wouldn't just be a history book of interaction design but something where learning could be integrated with the history. But that is probably too radical of a concept and the editors and publishers and decision makers just won't go for it. I bet they won't do it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book has little to no substance on *designing interactions*. It has lots of information about the career and motivation of designers. Perhaps it gets better later, but I have better things to do with my time than keep reading, hoping that the 10th person who was involved in the invention of the mouse has something to actually teach the reader about designing interactions.

This book should be listed as a human interest piece not a "Manager's Guide to Computing". If that's what you're looking for, then it might be for you. But be careful to read the reviews before you spend your hard earned money.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good textbook, but there is an issue that readers might want to be aware of. The book I purchased was published in 2007, but the most of the examples detailed in the book are of products/software older than that. Really that isn't an issue as the focus of this textbook is on functionality and human interaction. I only mention that because some people might dismiss this book as being outdated because of those older examples - it's not. Even given that the book was published nearly ten years ago the basic underlying fundamentals discussed in the book are still valid today. So try to overlook the historic feel of the examples and pay more attention to the content instead. Personally, I find it educational to look at the concepts presented in this book and consider how designs have evolved over time since it was published. It would be nice to see an updated edition covering the changes in design since 2007 to the present.

The book comes with a video DVD that has several videos associated with a number of the different chapters in the book. Most of these are video interviews of people who have had some role in shaping the functionality of hardware/software back-in-the-day. Again, since this book was published nearly ten years ago these are more of historic value.

I'm happy with my purchase and think this textbook would be of value for anyone interested in interactive design theory.
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