Presentations, workshops, and books

Interactive Design Textbook

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Interactive Design: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of User-centered Design

This innovative, comprehensive book examines the user-centered design process from the perspective of a designer. With rich imagery, Interactive Design introduces the different UX players, outlines the user-centered design process from user research to user testing, and explains through various examples how user-centered design has been successfully integrated into the design process of a variety of design studios worldwide.

From a review of Interactive Design: An Introduction on Embody 3D:

Simply put, Interactive Design is one of the best new interface books on the market. It is comprehensive, easy to understand and extremely relevant using case studies and modern mediums to help connect with the reader. The book is designed for both students and professionals as the concepts are timeless in nature and although some of the topics can be fairly technical the way the book presents information using nice full-page quotes, beautiful diagrams and feature works makes it easy for even a novice to take on board. Although most of the examples cover graphic design interfaces like portable computers and website interfaces, it is absolutely relevant to product designers. The principles are very much universal, things like competitor analysis, user-path diagrams, research, testing are all great ways to improve your product designs. Unusually I don’t have any major faults of this title, so that is definitely saying something! Although it is heavily branded as being a theoretical book the information takes on its own lessons and breaks up the information well. The title is not text heavy or extremely weighty at 224 pages, so for true theologians this might not contain the analysis and literature references you may desire. However for the 99% this book hits all the right spots!

The Power of Sticky Notes on RockPaperInk
Strategies for Identifying and Prioritizing User Experience Goals

Throughout my career as a user experience designer and strategist, I’ve often been accused of being a sticky note addict. I love the little colored squares of paper–the ease with which they can be moved around, and their small size, which necessitates clear and precise writing. I’ve even worn a halloween costume made of sticky notes. I’m not on the 3M payroll. I just think that sticky notes are an invaluable tool for user experience design

Roots and Leaves: Collaboration on RockPaperInk
Two minds come together to write and design a book

Digital design is best done in collaboration with other specialists as well as your client. Like a giant puzzle, everyone comes together to create something bigger than themselves. In the process they share their own perspectives, ideas, and skills. Clients and team members will not always agree, and that is a good thing. That doesn’t mean that collaboration is impossible. In fact, I believe it is beneficial to have different opinions, as they challenge your ideas of what is right or correct, and often result in a better product at the end.

And we’re getting some great reviews on Amazon:

This book had some wonderful insight from some very well respected designers and companies. I felt like they went beyond the norm in finding interesting contributors and projects to discuss. In a sea full of noise this was a refreshing book. It was the behind the scenes view that you so rarely get of this industry, especially coming from a print design background.
By DESIGNER8

I was looking for some book with simple and graphic information about UCD… But at last, I find it. Excelent book
By carlos sebastiani

I read it cover to cover. it is comprehensive and adds real world thought to technical needs. I like the quotes from designers who are in the field
By pete denman

 

F*CKUP Design - Workshop at Interaction 14

F*CKUP Design - A manifesto

Edison famously said, "I failed my way to success." In the interactive world, we've all heard the buzz phrases about failing fast, and how failure--particularly in the form of prototyping--can be a powerful design tool. But what about real failure? We've all experienced projects that never got off the ground, or crashed and burned stunningly. We don't put them in our portfolios. We only talk about them when we've had one drink too many. What can we learn from our embarrassments? And are there really things we can learn by failing, especially in the agency and consulting worlds, where we are hired for our expertise, and infallibility?

Can there be actual power, and knowledge in failure? What is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?

What are the different ways you can fail? Have you ever had a "successful" project that was a personal failure? Why? What can you learn from it?

Why are we so afraid of failing? What are the negative consequences of failure? And how can we encourage a positive viewpoint on failure?

How can we pull victory from the flames of defeat? How do you not panic when you sense yourself failing? How can you use your failure to inform future successes?

How can we build an acceptance of failure into a design or consulting practice? How can we get away from always having to be right, and move towards creative adaptability?

 

Design for the Dark Side - Panel at SXSW 2010

From Archi-Ninja

I find the above light and dark diagram fascinating; I have many interests that fall into the ‘dark side’ (excluding hip hop!) and am skeptical of many things on the ‘light side’. Chaired by IDEO’s Ben Fullerton, Design for the Dark Side looked at the practicalities and challenges of designing for a catastrophic or dystopian future. The panel included screenwriter, author, and playwright Jason Nunes, Rachel Abrams, who is Creative Director of Turnstone Consulting, and independent designer, architect and critic, Liam Young. Liam is also the founder (along with Darryl Chen) of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a group whose projects explore the consequences of fantastic, perverse and underrated urbanisms, and was recently tipped by Blueprint magazine as one of the 25 people who will change architecture and design in 2010.

The premise of Design for the Dark Side was that design usually focuses on improving the world around us, and often from an optimistic viewpoint. Yet, we know life is not always a walk in the park; it can be seedy, grimy, down and dirty just as much as it can be sun-spattered and sweet-smelling. So, is it not just as important to consider the dark side of human experience in design?

The SXSW panel contemplated a variety of dystopian eventualities and how they could be catered for, while considering questions put to them. These included: “Can designers think negatively as well as positively?”, “What kinds of worst case scenarios might be the most interesting to design for?”, and “How do you stay productive in the face of certain doom?”

It became obvious that the idea of designing for the dark side as a futuristic concept is not something that will happen; it’s happening now – there’s no need to imagine it. Death, destruction, war; they’re things that seldom disappear. However, these are the most obvious traits of the dark-side; it is the hidden fall-out from chaos that is often overlooked, but just as present. The global financial meltdown has produced some of the darkest times people have had to experience for a long time. Unemployment is soaring; homelessness is increasing at a drastic rate and natural disasters seem to be happening more frequently – these in turn result in rising poverty; depression, oppression and despair.

Dystopian societies are ever-present, yet consistently and conveniently ignored. Designers and architects, in their efforts to push boundaries, often look to the future, perhaps too much, and as a consequence neglect the areas desperate for change now. Designing for the dark side is more of a reality than anyone envisaged.

Listen to the “Design for the Dark Side” discussion here, and check out the SXSW website for details on next year’s conferences and festivals.