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Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design 2nd Second Edition, Revised and Up ed. Edition
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From the Publisher
Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated:
26 Anthropomorphic Form
A tendency to find forms that appear humanoid or exhibit human-like characteristics appealing. The Method Dish Soap bottle designed by Karim Rashid put the Method brand on the map. Though not free of functional deficiencies (e.g., leaking valve), its abstract anthropomorphic form gave it a sculptural, affective quality not previously found in soap bottles. Contrast it with its disappointing replacement.
62 Contour Bias
A tendency to favor objects with contours over objects with sharp angles or points. From top left to bottom right, the Alessi il Conico, 9093, 9091, and Mami kettles arranged from most angular to most contoured. At the extremes of this continuum, the il Conico will be most effective at grabbing attention, and the Mami will be most liked generally. The 9093 and 9091 incorporate both angular and contoured features, balancing attention-getting with likeability. Historically, the il Conico and 9093 are Alessi’s best-selling kettles.
120 Hick’s Law
The time it takes to make a decision increases as the number of alternatives increases. The Hick’s Law equation is RT = a + b log2 (n), where RT = response time, a = the total time that is not involved with decision making, b = an empirically derived constant based on the cognitive processing time for each option (in this case 0.155 seconds for humans), n= number of equally probable alternatives. For example, assume it takes 2 seconds to detect an alarm and understand it’s meaning. Further, assume that pressing one of five buttons will solve the problem caused by the alarm. The time to respond would be RT = (2 sec) + (0.155 sec)(log2 (5)) = 2.36 sec.
168 Not Invented Here
A bias against ideas and innovations that originate elsewhere. In 1982, the Sinclair ZX81 was licensed to Timex for resale in the United States as the Timex Sinclair 1000. The computers were identical except for the name on the case and minor motherboard differences. Sales were strong. With subsequent models, however, NIH syndrome inclined Timex to introduce more and more changes. Eventually, the product divergence created issues of software compatibility — costs went up, sales went down. Timex dropped out of the computer market in 1984.
About the Author
William Lidwell is the Director of Design at Stuff Creators Design in Houston, Texas. He is author of the best-selling design book, Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into 12+ languages, and Deconstructing Product Design, a social deconstruction of 100 classic products. He is the lecturer of two video series on design: "How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals" available from The Great Courses, and "The Science of Logo Design," available from Lynda.com.
Kritina Holden is a Human Factors specialist at Lockheed Martin–Space Operations and NASA, where she is responsible for performing applied research on HCI topics for the space environment. Formerly a Lead Usability Engineer with BMC Software, Kritina is author of numerous guideline texts in the areas of human-computer interaction and human performance.
Jill Butler is the founder and president of Stuff Creators Design Studio. She and her staff help clients explain concepts and express themselves through graphics, interaction design, web site design, printed products, and custom-designed 3-D objects. She has worked as a print designer, information designer, and multimedia designer for herself and various companies in the Houston area. Jill served as a lecturer and taught design-related classes at the University of Houston and Kingwood Community College.
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The only curious detail is the design of the cover... it doesn't change the high quality of the content but is so dull and fragmented in its composition that could make you mislead into think the book is a not very valuable manual.
Befitting a book on design, the book itself is well designed. Each principle is summarized in a single page, and the face page shows examples of the principles in action, or being violated.
Don't read it at a sitting. Read ten or twelve of them and give them some time to digest. But definitely get through all of them. You'll never think about design of the products and software you use the same way.
I have learned so much from this book! Not only does it give me insight into the question of why things around me look they way they do, but it has given me ideas of how to better design my lectures, slides, and hand-outs to improve information acquisition and retention for my students. Moreover, there were several topics with roots in mathematics that I might bring up in my Math for Liberal Arts course. It was also interesting to read about the design principles (or lack of adherence thereof) behind such epic failures as the Jeep Grand Cherokee "unintentional acceleration" debacle.
My only "problem" with this book is how engaging and engrossing it is. You might think that because of the little bites of information it presents, it would be easy to read a topic or two in what snippets of time you have, but no, it's more like eating from a huge bag of M&Ms. Each morsel of idea seems to pass too quickly and you want another one. Before you know it, you've nibbled your way through the whole book and it's 4am on a day when you have to get up at 6am. Consider yourself warned!
If you're a professional looking for insight from another professional that goes into depth; Stay away. You won't be happy. If you are just learning about the fundamentals of design, then grab it and it will be a great piece of knowledge to keep beside you while you learn for the first few months. But, rest assured once you are beyond the very simple stages of design this book will collect dust on your shelf.
Overall. Good book. Not bad and not great. But worth twenty bucks...
I buy around 1000 books a year, so that is saying a lot.
There are so many parts of life to which this book applies.
And so many new and different ideas for the design of anything -- museum exhibits, stores, factories, products, websites, and on and on.
I cannot imagine anyone in a leadership position in any field who would not benefit from studying this great book.
It is also incredibly well organized, easy on the eye and the brain.
But stop on each of the 100+ ideas and think about it for at least a day; how it applies to whatever your own goals are.
Remember that Apple's huge success is not based on science and hardcore technology so much as human factors and design -- the kinds of things you will learn in this book.
Each topic is given two pages - one page is more text-heavy and the other has visuals that demonstrate or exemplify the design principle at hand. Despite the seemingly brief dedication to each principle, the book is dense, efficient, and favors minimalism so although you may be able to scan over a principle in seconds, you need to take the time and study the information being presented in order to soak all of it in. Lidwell does a fantastic job at providing a survey of some of the most pertinent design principles. I foresee referencing this book throughout the rest of university studies and beyond.