11 April 2007

interaction design bookshelf

Recommended readings:
if you've read all of this, i'll be dead and buried, but still you'll be thankfull and greatfull for my love and sharing with you thiswonderfull post by Mr. Löwgren

Even though interaction design in itself is a young field, it draws heavily on the intellectual and artistic heritage of other design fields as well as the literatures of information technology and society.

Yes this post is a LEGEND, because it has one:

[D]: Design studies, culture and society.
[IM]: Interactive media studies.
[A]: Application area or design genre within interaction design.
[I]: Information technology, culture and society.
[M]: Methodology and theory of design.

Adams, J. (1986). Conceptual blockbusting: A guide to better ideas (third edition). Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. [M]

Adams is concerned with the creation of ideas and concepts. He identifies different kinds of blocks -- perceptual, emotional, cultural and intellectual -- which limit the divergence in early phases of creative processes, and suggests ways around them. There is also a discussion of alternative representations in relation to problem-solving ability, and a section on creativity in social and organizational contexts. The book is highly accessible and inspirational.

Adler, P., Winograd, T. (ed., 1992). Usability: Turning technologies into tools. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [A]

This book is the outcome of a seminar in 1990 on the effects of technology on future work; it contains seven contributions by different authors addressing usability from a work-oriented perspective. A common theme among the authors is a broad view on usability, quite prescient for its time, entailing the design of whole work systems and its implications for changing work organization and conditions.

Arnowitz, J., Arent, M., Berger, N. (2007). Effective prototyping for software makers. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. [M]

The genre of concern here is conventional graphical user interfaces for productivity software. In the first part of the book, the authors introduce a step-by-step process for GUI prototyping. The process is quite detailed and seems oriented towards current business practices of HCI/usability and software engineering. The second part of the book discusses a range of standard GUI prototyping techniques, and the third part addresses how office productivity applications such as Excel and Acrobat can be pushed to serve as prototyping tools. The book is very hands-on and it should be a useful resource in professional development of standard software.

Arvola, M. (2004). Shades of use: The dynamics of interaction design for sociable use. Dissertation no. 900, Linköpings universitet, Sweden. [Available at www.ep.liu.se]. [A]

This PhD dissertation addresses the field of sociable use, i.e., social situations of using shared digital resources. Arvola has concentrated on clerk-customer situations in a bank, interaction design students' work in a studio, and domestic use of interactive TV. He presents his knowledge contributions in the form of essential use qualities, design patterns and a prototype system designed to illustrate the more abstract findings. The results are useful for other designers of sociable use situations, and methodologically relevant as they illustrate how analytical and generative knowledge elements can be brought together in a coherent and well-grounded whole.

Bederson, B., Shneiderman, B. (2003). The craft of information visualization: Readings and reflections. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. [A]

A more appropriate title would perhaps be "Information Visualization Research at the HCI Laboratory, University of Maryland" since the book is a collection of previously published research papers from that institution, with a general introduction and short chapter introductions added. The collection covers some important original contributions to information visualization, such as dynamic queries and treemaps, as well as applications and developments of previously known techniques, including zoomable user interfaces and fisheye presentations. Most of the work reported represents a particular perspective of supporting a single user to carry out information retrieval or management tasks more efficiently. There is also a couple of taxonomic surveys, and some rather general thoughts on how information visualization can support creative work and discovery.

Bergman, E. (ed., 2000). Information appliances and beyond: Interaction design for consumer products. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. [A]

Information appliances are defined in the introduction as appliances specializing in information, focusing on specific activities and generally capable of sharing information. The book is a collection of contributed chapters, focusing mainly on software interface design for PDA:s and other small computing devices. There are also more or less relevant contributions from related fields, including game design, interactive toys and persuasive computing. Personally, I found the interview with Rob Haitani -- product manager of the first Palm Pilot -- particularly interesting since it combines design sensibility with user-interface craft skills in a way that makes the chapter stand out. I read the book only recently, six years after publication, and in retrospect it is clear that filesharing and the explosive emergence of the personal music and video market changed the playing field for information appliances in a radical way that apparently could not be anticipated in the year 2000. One thing that they could have anticipated, however, which I miss in the book is the relation to product design and the relevance of designing physical and digital form as a whole.

Blythe, M., Overbeeke, K., Monk, A., Wright, P. (2003). Funology: From usability to enjoyment. Dordrecht: Kluwer. [M]

The academic discipline of human-computer interaction (HCI) is in the middle of a significant reorientation. For more than twenty years, it was concerned with the usability of work-related, purposeful and efficient computer use. The last years have seen a rapidly growing scientific interest in aesthetic, playful, emotional, pleasurable interaction. This collection captures the state of the field in recent years remarkably well. The authors in the first section propose a number of theories and concepts that all seem to hold potential value as analytical tools. The second section addresses methods and techniques, on the whole forming a useful mix between incremental improvements upon HCI methodology and more innovative approaches. The third section, containing a set of design case studies, is generally the weakest. Some of the design cases pinpoint important aspects of interaction design, whereas others are lacking or vague in terms of design qualities. However, this potential shortcoming can equally well be read as an accurate snapshot of academic HCI: stronger on analysis and methodology than on design practice.

Bolter, J., Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding new media. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. [IM]

There is an increasing interest in digital media within the field of media studies. Among the growing literature, the book by Bolter and Grusin stands out by striking a successful balance of analysis – between the genres and practices of traditional media and the particularities of the new ones.

Bolter, J., Gromala, D. (2003). Windows and mirrors: Interaction design, digital art and the myth of transparency. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. [M]

As one of rather few examples in the literature, this book addresses the aesthetic qualities of interaction design. It consists of a set of essays composed around selected exhibits from the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery in the year 2000. The main thesis is that interaction is culturally reflective as much as efficiently transparent, and the book offers several important insights for interaction designers.

Borgmann, A. (1999). Holding on to reality: The nature of information at the turn of the millenium. Chicago:The University of Chicago Press. [I]

Borgmann presents an historical overview of information, how it has been transformed through time by the introduction of new technology, and especially digital technology. Borgmann shows what this development means to our contemporary society. He argues that when we enter a world that is becoming more virtual, we will lose our close connection with reality, which in turn will lead to a deprivation of our life experiences. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with the information society.

Brown, J. S., Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Boston, Mass.:Harvard Business School Press. [I]

This book is one the most referenced books today when it comes to the future of the information society. The authors present an understanding of the new digital technology and of information that is based on the notion of the social networks. Information can not be seen as free from their social networks. The authors’ claim, that information has a ‘social life’, changes the preconditions for how we should develop new information technology. The book will help anyone involved in the world of information to reflect on the role and nature of information and technology.

Bucciarelli, L. (1994). Designing engineers. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [M]

The author develops his thesis based on three ethnographical studies of engineering projects: That design is fundamentally a social process, also in engineering where the ideal may be more systematic and objective. Bucciarelli analyzes design representations as socially mediating languages, identifies the problems of sharing visions in early stages of a design process, and argues that there are always many possible solutions in any given design situation. These and other insights are clearly relevant also for interaction design.

Burnett, R., Marshall, D. (2003). Web theory: An introduction. London: Routledge. [IM]

Burnett and Marshall provide a rather useful introduction to the web from the perspective of media and communication studies. They address themes such as communication models, identity, web economy, and policy and copyright. The last two chapters look into the specific domains of news and entertainment. The general approach is broad and the book seems to be a useful introduction to media studies for interaction designers and other readers involved with the web.

Card, S., Mackinlay, J., Shneiderman, B. (1999). Readings in information visualization: Using vision to think. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. [A]

So far, mainstream interaction design is predominantly a visual/temporal field, even though the research labs have done interesting work in tangible user interfaces, haptics, auditory interaction and so on. Visualization of information has attracted quite a bit of interest and many ideas have been proposed. This book is the first extensive collection of articles and research reports in information visualization. More or less all important contributions from the 1980s and -90s are included and the result is a great source of inspiration for visualization work.

Cooley, M. (1980). Architect or bee? The human/technology relationship. Boston, Mass.: South End Press. [D]

This is a book about the technologization of work and its potentially harmful consequences: taylorism, unemployment, alienation, degrading of professional skills, and so on. It serves as a useful reminder of the responsibility involved in designing for professional use.

Dourish, P. (2001). Where the action is: The foundations of embodied interaction. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [A]

This book illustrates the value of foundational concepts not only for abstract reasoning but also for practical design. Dourish introduces the notion of embodiment, based mainly in phenomenological philosophy. By way of definition, embodied interaction is taken to be the creation, manipulation and sharing of meaning through engaged interaction with artifacts. Embodiment integrates the fields of tangible computing and social computing; Dourish covers many existing examples and outlines fruitful directions and principles for future interaction design.

Dunne, A. (1999). Hertzian tales: Electronic products, aesthetic experience and critical design. London: Royal College of Art. [A]

Anthony Dunne outlines the position of the artist-designer and a manifesto of sorts for critical design, where a key concept is parafunctionality (see chapter 2). His examples cover broad fields of electronic products and art practice and the work is an important source of inspiration for interaction designers.

Dunne, A., Raby, F. (2001). Design noir: The secret life of electronic objects. Basel: Birkhäuser. [A]

This book builds further upon Hertzian Tales and goes beyond it in articulating the values and intentions of critical design, or design as way of creating distance and posing questions. One of the main questions concerns the relations between people and domestic technology, which is addressed in the better part of the book in the detailed story of the fascinating Placebo project.

Engholm, I., Klastrup, L. (2004). Digitale verdener: De nye mediers aestetik og design. (Digital worlds: the aesthetics and design of new media.) Danmark: Gyldendal. [IM]

Fifteen authors contribute to this collection of humanistic perspectives on the new media. The chapters provide a rich variety of analytical and critical perspectives on interaction design, web sites and computer games -- mainly representing academic fields such as art studies, cultural studies, media studies, literature and game studies. As a whole, the book offers a rather timely survey of where cultural analysis stands in relation to the new media. Unfortunately, it is written in Danish, but I choose to include it here anyway for the benefit of Scandinavian readers.

Fishwick, P. (ed., 2006). Aesthetic computing. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [A]

The stated goal of this volume is to explore the possibility of a new area concerned with the impact and effects of aesthetics on the field of computing. To this end, Fishwick has collected a large number of chapters by authors in art, design, computer science and mathematics. The diversity is striking -- some authors consider aesthetics as something that can be "applied" to computing, some look at the aesthetics of computing, yet some write from a standpoint in digital arts where the issue is rather what impact computing may have on aesthetics -- and there are clearly no final answers to be found in the volume. However, the diversity is also a strength in that most readers in the interaction design community would find something interesting in the collection.

Fitzgerald, B., Russo, N., Stolterman, E. (2002). Information systems development: Methods-in-action. McGraw-Hill. [M]

To anyone who needs to know about systems development methods this is the book to read. Apart from a presentation of the historical background, the book also deals with new methods and approaches, such RUP, Xtreme Programming, ERP, Open Source, Web Design, etc. The book has a strong focus on the actual use of methods and presents a framework for method use.

Fogg, B.J. (2003). Persuasive computing: Using computers to change what we think and do. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. [A]

There has been a growing interest in studying the social psychology of human-computer interaction, where it can be demonstrated that people treat computers as other people in many respects. Fogg builds on previous work, most notably by Nass and Reeves, and takes it further into a study of computer persuasion in different domains. The book is an eye-opener for readers who tend to think of digital artifacts mostly as value-neutral tools or communication media.

Forty, A. (1986). Objects of desire: Design and society 1750-1980. London: Thames & Hudson. [D]

The author’s goal is to relate design history to social and cultural history, rather than picturing individual designers as artists. It is important for interaction designers to think about digital artifacts in terms of social and political contexts; Forty provides excellent examples of such thinking.

Fuller, M. (2005). Media ecologies: Materialist energies in art and technoculture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [IM]

A discussion on the interaction of media systems, drawing mainly on materialist philosophy. Fuller makes the point that all media products are part of contexts, and illustrates how close studies of such contexts can reveal insights into the whole media ecology in question, including "new" media as well as "old" media and use practices. Notions such as the medial will to power stayed with me after reading the book. However, other parts of Fuller's reasoning were too difficult for me to grasp. (Or perhaps, too well hidden in cultural-theory jargon?)

Fällman, D. (2003). In romance with the materials of mobile interaction: A phenomenological approach to the design of mobile information technology. PhD dissertation, Umeå University, Sweden. (Available from www.diva-portal.org) [A]

An ambitious doctoral project of digging quite deeply into phenomenology, combining the key concepts with mobile computing and exploring the nature of the emerging field through a series of design studies -- and quite well executed. The strong focus on keeping the argumentative parts coherent leads to designs that are sometimes weak in places when assessed from other points-of-view, and the attempt to connect theory and design with empirical methodology may be less than completely successful, but these are minor comments on an otherwise impressive piece of work.

Gelernter, D. (1998). Machine beauty: Elegance and the heart of technology. New York: Basic Books. [M]

Engineering has strong aesthetic elements, whether or not engineers would think of them as such. Gelernter describes the engineering-aesthetic aspects of digital artifacts from an insider’s perspective, concentrating on technical elegance as equivalent to a combination of power and simplicity.

Gislén, Y. (2003). Rum för handling: Kollaborativt berättande i digitala medier. (Space for action: Collaborative narrative in digital media.) PhD dissertation, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden. (Available by searching www.bth.se/fou). [A]

Understanding collaborative storytelling is key to designing action-oriented virtual communities beyond conventional small-talk web sites. Gislén provides a solid theoretical foundation as well as a number of design examples to further such an understanding. The dissertation is in Swedish, but I choose to include it here for the benefit of Scandinavian readers.

Greenbaum, J., Kyng, M. (eds., 1991). Design at work: Cooperative design of computer systems. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. [M]

Participatory design and other socially oriented development approaches have a long history in systems development and, by heritage, in interaction design. This book is an excellent introduction to the practical techniques of participatory design. The philosophical underpinnings and other more general issues are addressed in Schuler and Namioka (below).

Greene, R. (2004). Internet art. London: Thames and Hudson. [I]

Greene uses her connections with the new media art community to present a rather lively survey of Internet art, starting from the first experiments in the early 90s and covering many inspirational examples. A strong emphasis in her selection is critical art and tactical media, something that may be more and more relevant also for the interaction design community to embrace. The book is richly illustrated and contains a useful resource collection (web sites, mailing lists and the like) for further studies.

Grudin, R. (1990). The grace of great things: Creativity and innovation. New York: Ticknor & Fields. [D]

A beautifully written book where the philosophy of creativity is addressed from unusual angles. The author demonstrates the close relations between creativity and ethics, since ‘creativity is dangerous.’ The insights into innovation and the potential conflicts between responsibility and self-actuation make the book valuable reading for interaction designers.

Hallnäs, L., Redström, J. (2006). Interaction design: Foundations, experiments. University College of Borås, Sweden. [M]

This book can be seen as a sketch, a number of important yet tentative steps towards a more specific understanding of interaction design as a field of practice and knowledge predicated on the nature of the digital materials. Several important issues are identified and approached in thought-provoking ways, including aesthetics, presence-rather-than-use, and the notion of act design. The part on foundations explores the issues in a mathematical/logical way, focusing on proofs and deduction at the expense of socially grounded understandings. The experiments are attempts to create knowledge and to inform practice without conventional empirical work, including specific concept designs and prototypes as well as design programs (ideals) and methods. The aesthetics of interaction sought are generally oriented towards the critical rather than the beautiful. The style of the book as a whole is sketchy -- at some points it feels more like reading a manuscript -- which seems strangely appropriate in relation to the tentative nature of the material presented.

Heim, M. (1998). Virtual realism. New York: Oxford University Press. [A]

Heim offers a thoughtful discussion of what ‘virtuality’ means. Building on a number of examples of virtual technology, Heim suggest ways of living with technology and possible ways to harmonize computer use with culture. Even though the book is based on existing examples of new technology, Heim builds a philosophical approach to virtual technology that might work as a foundation for criticism and evaluation of new technology to come.

Heskett, J. (2002). Toothpicks & logos: Design in everyday life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [D]

Heskett reveals how the design of ‘simple’ objects, such as toothpicks, reflects the culture of the country that produced it. The book argues that design combines form and meaning of practical objects by manifesting the identities and aspirations of users. Heskett also has an ambition and a belief that design can play an important role in the future, especially in its role in humanizing new technology.

Hughes, B. (2000). Dust or magic: Secrets of successful multimedia design. Harlow, UK: Addison-Wesley. [M]

In spite of the title, this book provides a highly interesting account of interaction design from the perspective of a truly reflective practitioner. Hughes discusses core issues in the design of digital artifacts -– including judgment ability, creative processes and qualities of the material – with a strong base in personal experience.

Jakobsson, M. (2006). Virtual worlds and social interaction design. PhD dissertation, Umeå University, Sweden. (Available from www.diva-portal.org) [I]

The most important part of this dissertation is an exceptionally rich and deep account of social life in virtual worlds, covering purely social worlds such as ActiveWorlds as well as multiplayer online games. Jakobsson builds his account on many years of participant observation and provides a level of insight that is comparable with good ethnographies in other fields.

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press. [IM]

Jenkins addresses the convergence of mass media and interactive media from a solid background in studies of fan cultures. He builds his arguments around three core concepts -- media convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence -- which he develops in a series of well-written and engaging case studies, ranging from online communities of Survivor spoilers to Harry Potter fan-fiction IPR controversies and the US elections. The focus is largely on how the established mass media "collide" with new media cultures and practices, and the new media forms originating in the digital realm are generally less well covered. Nevertheless, I consider the insights offered in the book to be required reading for any interaction designer involved in transmedia/crossmedia projects.

Johnson, S. (1997). Interface culture: How new technology transforms the way we create and communicate. New York: Basic Books. [I]

One of very few examples aimed at exploring a critic’s possible position in interaction design. Johnson addresses topics such as links and hypertext, multiple windows, and the desktop metaphor and manages to provide knowledge that is evidently useful to designers as well as other parties in the knowledge community. This makes the book a valuable example of what interaction design criticism could be like.

Jones, J.C. (1992). Design methods. Second edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. First published in 1970 under the title Design methods: Seeds of human futures. [M]

This is more or less a bible on methods within the field of design studies. The main part of the book is a collection of thoroughly described methods from various design fields, but the three prefaces (from 1970, 1980 and 1992) are equally interesting as an illustration of how Jones’ own view of methods has developed since the first edition.

Jones, M., Marsden, G. (2006). Mobile interaction design. Chichester: John Wiley. [A]

A quite ambitious attempt to write a self-contained textbook on mobile interaction design. It covers not only the particulars of designing for mobility and handheld devices, but also much more general material on interaction design methodology and techniques. Some of the general material is contextualized to mobile interaction design, other parts are very similar to what one might find in other introductory texts. A strong point of the book is that the authors draw on their own design experience to present a number of in-depth case studies. A slight weakness might be that the stated focus on "useful, usable and user experience" boils down to a comprehensive treatment of instrumental, HCI-type techniques whereas the experiential parts are addressed more superficially. Yet, I find the broad coverage of the book to be quite an asset in an educational setting where introductory courses these days may well start with mobile devices.

Jordan, P. (2000). Designing pleasurable products: An introduction to the new human factors. London: Taylor and Francis. [M]

The field of human factors has traditionally been oriented towards usability, efficiency and other aspects of goal-oriented use of technical artifacts. Jordan attempts to widen the scope by introducing pleasure and pleasurable use as a more general framework, based on physical, social, cognitive/emotional and value-oriented pleasures. His examples are mostly drawn from industrial design, but the approach should in general be relevant also for digital artifacts.

Keller, I. (2005). For inspiration only: Designer interaction with informal collections of visual material. PhD dissertation, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands. (Available from www.forinspirationonly.net) [M]

The topic of this dissertation is how to support designers in early phases of design processes, where collections of visual material play important roles for inspiration, structuring and driving the work. Keller manages remarkably well to connect theory, empirical work and explorative design into knowledge contributions -- which is the reason why I find it a good example of scholarly interaction design research.

Krippendorff, K. (2006). The semantic turn: A new foundation for design. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. [D]

Krippendorff argues for a human-centered view on design, where the core notion is meaning as created in use. He outlines a historical progression in the traditional design disciplines from product styling towards more complex, relational concerns, including the possibility of a design science. From an interaction design point-of-view, what is really interesting about the book is that it provides a conceptual bridge between the traditional design disciplines and the use-oriented perspectives that are at the heart of interaction design.

Kurzweil, R. (1999). The age of spiritual machines: When computers exceed human intelligence. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. [I]

Moore’s law, stating roughly that computer performance doubles every eighteen months, is well-known in the field of digital artifacts. Kurzweil draws on many years of experience in artifical intelligence to extrapolate a scenario of a near future where computers reach and exceed human levels of intelligence. At that stage, important questions arise concerning consciousness, responsibility, and the boundaries between humans and machines. Whether or not Kurzweil’s predictions are accepted, the general issues are worth pondering.

Lambert, J. (2002). Digital storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community. Berkeley, CA: Digital Diner Press. [IM]

Digital storytelling sounds very simple: Help people tell their own stories with simple digital production tools for video, images and audio. However, it takes significant experience to make the effort worthwhile for the storytellers in telling their stories successfully. Joe Lambert and his colleagues at the Center for Digital Storytelling have been working for more than ten years in this direction, and the book is full of their experience. General thoughts on the cultural value of storytelling blend with examples of successful digital stories, applications to different areas, suggestions for successful facilitation and lots of how-to knowledge on performing a digital storytelling workshop. To me, a real strength of the book is that much of the material is inspirational for further thought also in related fields, such as digital storytelling communities and other transformational efforts based on storytelling in general.

Laseau, P. (1980). Graphic thinking for architects and designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. [M]

Interaction design requires visual thinking like any other design field, although perhaps more oriented towards the temporal aspects of envisioned design ideas. Laseau provides a general and highly visual introduction to the notion of drawing as a mode of thinking.

Lasica, J. D. (2005). Darknet: Hollywood's war against the digital generation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley. [IM]

The digital media convergence and the rapid dissemination of media production capabilities is a challenge to many existing structures in the media industries. Lasica looks specifically at how established entertainment industries in music and movies react to the "threats" of filesharing, local production, mods, remixes and other personal digital media possibilities. The emerging picture, which Lasica paints in very lively colors using a journalistic presentation style, is focused on restrictions, violations of user rights, and political power plays in the interest of continued economic gain. The perspective of the book is clearly biased in favor of personal media, underground movements and a certain amount of Internet evangelism -- but the underlying conflicts are extremely interesting for any interaction designer involved in the digital media.

Lawson, B. (1990). How designers think. Second edition. London: Butterworth Architecture. First published in 1980. [D]

The author discusses design thinking, design processes and design strategies in architecture but his ideas are quite general and relevant also to interaction design. A rather well-known part of the book is the discussion of design as solution-oriented, that is, to focus on heuristic transformations of solutions proposed early on, rather than systematically analyzing the problem until a solution emerges.

Laurel, B. (ed., 1990). The art of human-computer interface design. New York: Addison-Wesley. [M]

This is a collection of articles by different authors, which represents one of the first examples of a design perspective within human-computer interaction (HCI). Reflections on the design process and recommendations on how to manage it are brought together with visions of the future and examples of (at the time) innovative interaction design ideas. The book is still inspirational and serves as a useful complement to the prevalent focus on analysis and evaluation in HCI.

Laurel, B. (1993). Computers as theatre. Wokingham, UK: Addison-Wesley. [A]

The idea of user interfaces and computers as tools is unnecessarily limiting, according to Laurel who advances the notion of computers as arenas for human action. Based on dramatic theory, she develops a perspective on interaction design and a set of design principles concerning communication, agency and use experience. The book is highly relevant as a starting point for thinking about virtual realities and other communication-oriented ways of viewing information technology.

Laurel, B. (ed., 2003). Design research: Methods and perspectives. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. [M]

The topic of this collection--design research--is broad enough to cover field study methods, explorative design, market and brand issues as well as trend research and strategies for design research in professional settings. The book provides an excellent overview of useful concepts and techniques available to the designer in inquiry, exploration and assessment activities, generally applicable in interaction design as well as in other design fields.

Ling, R. (2004). The mobile connection: The cell phone's impact on society. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. [I]

This is a sociological study of mobile phones and their use, drawing on large amounts of international quantitative and qualitative data. The author presents his findings in the general themes of safety and security, coordination of everyday life, teens and emancipation, the intrusive nature of mobile telephony, and texting as asynchronous mobile discourse. The presentation is well-grounded, credible and highly accessible. From a designer's point of view, the book is very strong on describing established phenomena and use patterns, where the notion of micro-coordination in particular seems like an important insight. However, more imaginative aspects of mobile communication such as placemaking and local media production are not addressed at all--since they do not really appear in the empirical data and thus fall outside the sociological realm.

Lovink, G. (2002). Dark fiber: Tracking critical Internet culture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [IM]

A collection of essays on digital media, covering a broad scope of issues such as net culture, language use, dotcom rise and fall, co-presence and community. The main theme of the texts, and the direct topic for several of them, is media activism and what Lovink calls tactical media: Using the digital media for politically and ideologically radical means.

Lunenfeld, P. (ed., 1999). The digital dialectic: New essays on new media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [IM]

Theorists and designers meet in this collection of essays on interactive media, covering topics such as reality and virtuality, the role of the body and embodiment, the nature of interactive media and mediation. Contributors include names such as Katherine Hayles, Michael Heim, Brenda Laurel, Lev Manovich and William Mitchell.

Löwgren, J., Stolterman, E. (2004). Thoughtful interaction design: A design perspective on information technology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [D]

This book was first published in Swedish in 1998 (Design av informationsteknik, Studentlitteratur, Lund). It is an attempt to explore the consequences of looking at the design of digital technology as a design discipline, related to fields such as architecture or industrial design. Erik and I introduce a set of concepts that can be used for thinking about the design process, the designer's skills and ways of extending them, design methods and techniques, and digital products and their use qualities.

Maeda, J. (2000). Maeda @ media. London: Thames & Hudson. [A]

John Maeda is an artist and graphic designer who has accepted the challenge of the digital media more profoundly than most of his colleagues. In his case, it has led to a focus on the artistic possibilities peculiar to the material, including time-based aspects and generative art where the programming capabilities of the computer are used.

Maeda, J. (2006). The laws of simplicity: Design, technology, business, life. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [D]

The topic of simplicity is certainly important and not well enough understood among designers and design theorists. Maeda's approach is to identify ten laws of simplicity and three key concepts, and to devote a short essay to each. Some of his ideas are interesting and evocative, whereas others unfortunately seem more half-baked. My general impression was a bit like reading a blog, where the mixed level and the self-referential style are to be expected and endured, and not so much like reading a scholarly book. However, if the book can help initiating a wider discussion of simplicity and the complexity of simplicity in design, then it will have served the interaction design community well after all.

Mau, B., Leonard, J. (2004). Massive change. London: Phaidon. [D]

The book takes off from Toynbee's words about "the welfare of the whole human race as a practical objective" and examines a broad range of fields, including urbanism, transportation, energy, materials, manufacturing, wealth and politics to see what steps are taken toward the "practical objective." It mainly consists of inspirational examples, conveyed in images, text and interviews with activists, thinkers, designers and scientists providing important contributions. In the words of the back cover, it is not a book about the world of design but rather about the design of the world. Compared with Thackara (2005), the aim is similar even though the style is very different. Another difference lies in the emphasis on information technology, which is much less pronounced in this book. Hence, the relevance for interaction design consists mainly in providing a broad introduction to a perspective of sustainability that is important also for interaction designers insofar as we share the responsibility for the man-made world.

Mayer, P. (ed., 1999). Computer media and communication: A reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [IM]

A selection of articles addressing a media perspective on information technology, ranging from historical milestones such as Bush and Engelbart to contemporary discussions of concepts such as community and identity. The goals of the book is in some way similar to those of Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort (2003), but at the same time Mayer's collection is much more focused on the particular communicative properties of the interactive media. It is also more plainly typeset, lacks supplementary AV material, and gives a more "academic" general impression.

McCarthy, J., Wright, P. (2004). Technology as experience. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [M]

Our field is full of talk about experience these days: usability specialists become user experience architects, HCI researchers start working on affective interaction, and so on. Whether these transitions represent adaptation to market demand or a research reorientation, they all reflect growing insights that people's use of technology is more fruitfully understood as a whole: including aesthetic and ethical as well as instrumental dimensions. McCarthy and Wright aims to provide a conceptual platform on which to build further reasoning and design in this direction. Drawing on Dewey and Bakhtin, they analyze the experience of using technology in pragmatist terms. Important insights include the active role of the user, the intertwined threads of sensual, emotional, compositional and spatio-temporal experience, and the continuum between institutionalized and prosaic aesthetic experience. McCarthy and Wright's work is a useful entry in a hopefully growing debate in the interaction design field on the nature of experience.

McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding comics: The invisible art. HarperCollins. [A]

A book about the medium of comics, expressed in the medium of comics. Unlike most attempts to write "interactive books" and the like, McCloud shows how well the medium of comics work for conveying deep and important knowledge about … comics. Many fundamental concepts in temporal-spatial storytelling are introduced and at the same time illustrated beautifully. The relevance for interaction design is, of course, that we also deal in a temporal-spatial medium which, at times, bears close narrative relations to comics as introduced by McCloud.

McCullough, M. (1996). Abstracting craft: The practiced digital hand. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [D]

McCullough offers a carefully articulated craft perspective on the shaping of digital materials. His attention to the fine details of the craft and the qualities of the digital viewed as craft materials illustrates a fresh, yet at the same time historically well-founded perspective on our field.

McCullough, M. (2004). Digital ground: Architecture, pervasive computing and environmental knowing. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [A]

Ubiquitous computing is moving from the research labs into the everyday practices of ICT development and use, and the interaction design community is increasingly realizing that naive notions of anytime-anyplace mobility are missing out on the more important qualities of place and situatedness. This is where architecture offers a contribution. McCullough introduces an architectural perspective on pervasive computing, arguing that the human need for place is not obviated by ubiquitous digital technology. He introduces foundational concepts of place and situatedness, and outlines a design programme for situated interaction involving material as well as virtual elements. The book is important reading for designers and researchers involved in pervasive computing and mixed-media environments.

Meadows, M. (2003). Pause & effect: The art of interactive narrative. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders. [A]

If the digital design material is temporal as well as spatial, then questions of narrativity become crucial for interaction design. Meadows discusses a wealth of narratively guided projects with a fair grounding in traditional media theory and its encounters with the specific qualities of the digital materials.

Mitcham, C. (1994). Thinking through technology: The path between engineering and philosophy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. [D]

Even though this book does not explicitly address design history, it is an excellent introduction to the changing understanding of technology over the course of history. A useful read for anyone interested in our relationship with technology and how we shape it.

Mitchell, T. (1996). New thinking in design: Conversations on theory and practice. New York: John Wiley. [D]

Mitchell paints a picture of the expanding field of design by means of interviewing thirteen designers and theorists in different disciplines, including architecture, product design, design strategy and design theory. Taken together, the interviews capture a number of emerging themes such as the increasing scope of the design task, the importance of involving users in design processes, and managing design strategically. Some of the themes seem quite new to interaction design and certainly applicable, whereas others are perhaps already more well-known.

Moggridge, B. (2007). Designing interactions. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [D]

A truly remarkable book, painting a rich picture of interaction design practice by means of some forty journalistically rendered interviews with outstanding designers and a substantial piece of reflection on the author's own experience as an interaction designer. There are several strengths to the book: It adopts and illustrates a consistent design perspective (as opposed to, e.g., a HCI perspective); it gives roughly equal weight to hardware and software design; it covers the history of interaction design for personal computing as well as related fields including games, multimedia and service design; it is well designed and produced in itself, with a beautiful flow between sections and with generous and appropriate image material. The appended DVD provides interview segments and, more importantly, some demos to illustrate key topics. The only drawback I can find is a slight bias towards Silicon Valley people and practices, which is certainly historically justifiable but still constrains the overall picture somewhat. Nevertheless, I would consider this book to be required reading for all students, teachers and practitioners who need a comprehensive and up-to-date view of interaction design practice.

Moran, T., Carroll, J. (eds., 1996). Design rationale: Concepts, techniques and use. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. [M]

The idea to structure and document the design process, the exploration of the design space, is attractive for many reasons. A number of notations and methods were explored in the 1990s, although it turned out that they were often hard to use in practice. The collection by Moran and Carroll provides a useful overview of the main approaches in the field, how they are used and how they work in larger contexts. About half of the articles were written for the book; the others are reprinted versions of seminal contributions to the field.

Mullet, K., Sano, D. (1995). Designing visual interfaces: Communication oriented techniques. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. [M]

In graphic design in general, it is not uncommon to think about the task as one of communication. This perspective underlies Mullet and Sano’s approach to interaction design, or perhaps more accurately: interface design. The presentation is highly accessible and the examples are chosen effectively.

Murray, J. (1997). Hamlet on the holodeck: The future of narrative in cyberspace. New York: Free Press. [A]

The computer as a medium for storytelling opens up many new narrative forms. Murray, who brings a classical literature background to the field, argues for the role of the author also in interactive media. The picture she paints is most closely related to roleplay, where an "author" has created the arena, the props and the core plots for the participating actors. Improvisation in a commedia dell'arte sense, where the actors play fixed characters in a repertoire of standard scenes, is another important element.

Nelson, H., Stolterman, E. (2003). The design way: Intentional change in an unpredictable world. Educational Technology Publishing, NJ. [D]

This book makes the case that design is its own tradition distinct from science and art. It is an attempt to bring forward a broad and generic view of design. It covers many issues discussed in this book, with a focus on design thinking, judgment, composition, wholeness, but also on the splendour and evil of design. To anyone interested in a deeper understanding of design as a universal human activity, this book is recommended.

Norman, D. (2004). Emotional design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. New York: Basic Books. [M]

Norman is perhaps best known for his 1988 book "The psychology of everyday things" (later republished as "The design of everyday things") in which he lays out a cognitive science foundation for understanding usability. Since then, he has been a prolific and much appreciated contributor to the field of HCI. In this book, the aim is to go beyond ease-of-use and fitness-for-purpose based on recent developments in cognitive science on the role of affect and emotion. Norman outlines three levels of human processing in the first chapter: the visceral, the behavioral and the reflective. The main part of the book is then a rather introductory discussion of themes that follow from the new theoretical foundations, including branding, sensuous feel, fun and pleasure, games, storytelling and social communication. The themes are not exactly news to the design world, but the book may serve as a useful introduction to readers with a background in HCI.

Olins, W. (1989). Corporate identity: Making business strategy visible through design. London: Thames and Hudson. [D]

Corporate identity is a core issue in graphic design and product design, and Olins is one of the leaders in the field. He outlines the elements of corporate identity, from business cards to general visions, discusses typical cases and sketches ways of carrying out a well-founded corporate identity program. Interaction design is traditionally not concerned with corporate identity, but the situation is changing rapidly as information technology is rapidly transforming from work tools to consumer products. A grasp of the basic concepts of corporate identity may be useful for the contemporary interaction designer.

Ong, W. (1982). Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. London: Routledge. [D]

This is a classic on the topic of how the word was technologized, how written language and printing has changed our relations to language and communication. For interaction designers, it is an excellent example of how a particularly relevant technology can be understood and analyzed.

Papanek, V. (1984). Design for the real world: Human ecology and social change. Second edition. London: Thames and Hudson. [D]

Papanek is beautifully explicit on the role of design and the responsibility of the designer: it is far-reaching, and it cannot be avoided or denied. His discussions of real-world issues (with examples from urban planning, architecture, politics) are highly relevant for interaction design in these times when digital artifacts increasingly pervade our everyday lives.

Paul, C. (2003). Digital art. London: Thames and Hudson. [I]

This is a rather comprehensive introduction to the field of digital art, ranging from the 1970s to the present day and tracing its origins in a brief historical sketch. The presentation is richly illustrated and comprises many examples that will be inspirational for interaction design, perhaps primarily in the field of ubicomp. Paul's style, however, is a bit dry at times and the thematic discussion is not executed as powerfully as I would have preferred.

Pesce, M. (2000). The playful world: How technology is transforming our imagination. New York: Ballantine Books. [A]

The boundaries between physical and virtual are increasingly blurred, which is a phenomenon open to multiple interpretations. Pesce chooses to concentrate on play and toys, based on the toy designs made possible by technological innovations but drawing out more general threads towards the intersection of artificial intelligence and ubiquitous computing.

Petroski, H. (1992). The evolution of useful things: How everyday artifacts—from forks and pins to paper clips and zippers—came to be as they are. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. [D]

In this classic book Petroski takes a look at artifacts that most of us never pay attention to. He offers a well developed theory of technological innovation based on the idea that they can be understood as a response to perceived failures of existing products. His main idea is that irritation, and not necessity, is the mother of invention. This books shows with a number of examples what can be achieved through thoughtful reflection on everyday designs.

Picard, R. (1997). Affective computing. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [A]

The notion of affective computing refers to systems that can recognize, express and in some sense be said to have emotions. The book consists of two parts, where the first gives an overview of research into the nature of emotion from different academic fields, how emotions can be represented and what it would mean to have emotional computers. The second part is concerned with implementation techniques. Although it may seem odd to talk about emotions in relations to computers, there are potentially interesting application domains such as mediated communication, learning and adaptive systems.

Pirhonen, A., Isomäki, H., Roast, C., Saariluoma, P. (eds., 2005). Future interaction design. London: Springer-Verlag. [M]

A promising title but not quite what I had expected. The book is a final report from a research project apparently oriented towards exploring new ways of understanding practice and interactive systems use. As such, it is quite diverse. Several chapters propose extensions and new frameworks to discplines such as psychology and information systems, where the relevance to interaction design might be less than clear. There are also contributions looking more directly at interaction design, including chapters on design for elderly, principles for deisgn of ubiquitous computing, and a chapter on design of digital jewellery. The fundamental message seems to be that interaction design is multidiscplinary and the disciplines involved need to orient accordingly.

Postrel, V. (2003). The substance of style: How the rise of aesthetic value is remaking commerce, culture and consciousness. New York: HarperCollins. [D]

Postrel is posing the claim that aesthetic qualities are becoming increasingly important in our society, from retail to lifestyle to business. From an interaction design point of view, the recent turn of the mainstream towards experiential use qualities parallels the broader development outlined by Postrel. The book offfers a range of observations from different fields, presented in a highly accessible way. The reasoning is somewhat simplified and the style is journalistic rather than scholarly. It is sometimes hard to tell whether the book is about a line of societal/cultural development or about Postrel's own growing up in terms of aesthetic sensibility. In short, The substance of style serves as a useful indication of a phenomenon that has far-reaching implications for design in general, including interaction design. What those implications are is largely left for us to find out for ourselves.

Pruitt, J., Adlin, T. (2006). The persona lifecycle: Keeping people in mind throughout product design. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. [M]

The idea of personas is fairly simple to grasp: Create fictitous user characters based on research and other information sources, use those characters to inform design, assessment and deployment of new products. However, it is apparent that it has connections with virtually every aspect of "user-centered design." Pruitt and Adlin present an overwhelming collection of methods, techniques and arguments for using personas in professional development contexts. How-to tips sit next to overviews of related techniques, chapters by invited guest authors on more or less related concepts, and testimonials on persona use in a variety of settings. Very thorough, bordering on the inaccessible, but certainly a solid reference.

Pye, D. (1978). The nature and aesthetics of design. London: The Herbert Press. [D]

An excellent book by a furniture designer who also engages with more profound questions concerning the nature of the design process. He discusses how design is ‘actually’ performed and provides interesting examples from many disciplines. The main contributions lie in the deep understanding and aesthetical perspective on craft and skill.

Qvortrup, L. (ed., 2001). Virtual interaction: Interaction in virtual inhabited 3D worlds. London: Springer. [A]

This is a collection of research papers from an interdisciplinary project on virtual, inhabited three-dimensional worlds. Within this admittedly specialized field, the scope of the collection is extensive. General theories of inhabited 3D worlds and their interaction aspects, discussions of interactive narrative, contributions to the design of autonomous agents, and design methodology are some of the topics.

Saffer, D. (2007). Designing for interaction: Creating smart applications and clever devices. Berkeley, CA: New Riders. [M]

A useful first introduction to interaction design, covering a lot of ground in a very light and readable way. Saffer characterizes the field, discusses the digital design materials and tools, outlines the phases of the design process, and even touches on more advanced topics such as adaptivity, service design, ethics and future challenges -- all very brief and approachable. I imagine that the book might whet the appetite of many readers to know more about interaction design. Too bad that there are no references or suggestions for further study.

Salen, K., Zimmerman, E. (2004). Rules of play: Game design fundamentals. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [A]

This is a remarkable book with the overall aim to support design of meaningful play. The authors combine their own significant game design skills with a very ambitious attempt to create conceptual structures of value for other active game designers or game design students. It is evident that they see this task as different from providing concepts for game theorists and critics, which seems highly sensible to me. The book starts with an introduction of core concepts, and then the main part of the book is devoted to in-depth discussion of 23 aspects of games, organized in three main categories of formal, experiential and cultural aspects. The authors themselves call the aspects 'schemas', which is slightly misleading: they do not provide mere design schemas but rather elaborate discussions combining their own experience with the expertise of other authors and game designers. Concepts used or developed by the authors are consistently grounded in examples, and a particular strength is that they give equal emphasis to digital and non-digital games. A selection of commissioned game examples with design notes and a comprehensive bibliography completes the book, which I recommend highly for its scope and mature thinking around games and play.

Salen, K., Zimmerman, E. (eds., 2006). The game design reader: A rules of play anthology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [A]

A massive collection of seminal texts in game studies and game design, created as a companion to the "Rules of play" text book. It covers design process as well as play experience, economics and aesthetics, case studies and reflective essays, modern technology and play culture as well as foundational philosophy of games and play. For an interaction designer without special skills in game design (such as myself), the collection provides an introduction to the core curriculum of game design and game studies, and I learnt a good deal from it.

Schuler, D., Namioka, A. (eds., 1993). Participatory design: Principles and practices. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. [M]

A collection of philosophical issues, techniques and case studies concerning participatory design. A main issue throughout the book is the applicability of participatory design outside its specific Scandinavian context of origin, and in particular the differences compared with the US.

Schwartz, P. (1991). The art of the long view. New York: Currency Doubleday. [M]

This is a book about the use of scenarios in business planning and societal planning. There is a key difference between Schwartz' approach and the everyday use of scenarios in interaction design: Schwartz advocates the development of multiple scenarios expressing parallel plausible futures, and then using the scenarios to make decisions and prepare for different courses of action. The book outlines the elements of planning-scenarios and the craft of building them, along with a number of examples mainly drawn from business planning. The multiple-scenario approach and the emphasis on the big picture are valuable takeaways for interaction designers, perhaps mainly in concept and product development work.

Schön, D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. [D]

The concept of reflection-in-action has been very influential in contemporary design theory, even though Schön does not delimit himself to design but addresses all kinds of professional practice. This book is not only a useful summary of The reflective practitioner (1983) but also a discussion of what the model implies for education of skilled professionals.

Sellen, A., Harper, R. (2002). The myth of the paperless office. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [A]

The core of this book is based on many years of robust social-science studies of the use of paper in a variety of knowledge-work contexts. Sellen and Harper show how the uses and affordances of paper are related in complex and dynamic ways to work structures and social structures, and do a fantastic job of penetrating the information ecologies of knowledge work. This is a very important resource to any interaction designer addressing knowledge work and professional information handling, which I suppose includes many of us. The core of the book is wrapped in arguments against the notion of paperless offices and in design implications for new reading technologies and document management systems that are carefully based on the reported studies. Even though Sellen and Harper argue at length that basing design on thorough fieldwork does not preclude innovation, most of their design proposals seem rather incremental, which is certainly important but may run the risk of overlooking design directions starting from why the knowledge work is done in the first place.

Shedroff, N. (2001). Experience design 1. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders. [A]

Shedroff approaches experience design as a multidisciplinary field, involving digital artifacts as well as many other materials. A particularly interesting aspect from my point of view is Shedroff’s attempts to articulate qualities of use experiences.

Sparke, P. (2004). An introduction to design and culture: 1900 to the present. Second edition. London: Routledge. [D]

Design history in general is a vast academic field. Sparke provides an introduction that I find particularly useful, mainly because she takes care to situate design in cultural, social and economic contexts. The book is structured along the themes of consumption, technology, professional design practice, ideological foundations and identity. Basically, these are all highly relevant to interaction design and Sparke's reasoning is rather straightforward to apply to our field, even though her examples are drawn mainly from product design, architecture and interior design.

Spence, R. (2001). Information visualization. Harlow, UK: Addison-Wesley. [A]

Spence provides an accessible introduction to the field of information visualization. It should work well as the first book on the topic, as it presents the concepts and the most influential ideas in a well-structured and pedagogical fashion.

Sobchack, V. (2004). Carnal thoughts: Embodiment and moving image culture. Berkeley: University of California Press. [IM]

A collection of essays in film and media studies, developing a phenomenological perspective questioning the split between body and mind, between thought and senses. Most of the essays address topics that are increasingly recognized also in interaction design, such as embodiment, affect and aesthetics. However, Sobchack treats them in a way that is much more thoroughly grounded in cultural studies and philosophy. There are no "implications for design" in the book, to borrow a useful irony from Paul Dourish, but the reader is rewarded with an appreciation of the conceptual and cultural depths underlying the relations between body and media. The relevance seems clear also for interactive media.

Sokoler, T. (2004). Going beyond the desktop computer with an attitude. PhD dissertation, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden. (Available by searching www.bth.se/fou). [A]

This dissertation outlines a use-oriented perspective on ubiquitous computing and provides a number of design examples illustrating how ubicomp can be shaped from a deep understanding of human activity. Unlike most user-centered design work, however, the design examples provided by Sokoler are also highly innovative and inspirational.

Sterling, B. (2005). Shaping things. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [D]

Sterling sketches a historical perspective on our lives with artifacts, from craft society and industrialism to consumerism and beyond. More specifically, the beyond that is envisioned is a world in which the material and the virtual blend together in manufactured objects that Sterling calls "spimes". Primitive spime precursors are RFID-enhanced objects, where the key element is that each entity has a unique identity. Sterling discusses the designer's role as well as the economy and sustainablility of a possible technosocial future of ubiquitous spimes. The ideas are generally bold, inspirational and gives me the sense of capturing something vital in design even though they are painted with a broad brush. My main disappointment is the graphic design, which is unusually self-conscious and apparently aims to highlight the ideas but in my opinion rather works to distract me from the author's voice.

Tapscott, D. (1998). Growing up digital: The rise of the net generation. New York: McGraw-Hill. [I]

This is a look at the young generation, the first to grow up with interactive media and the Internet as natural elements of everyday life. Tapscott characterizes the Net Generation, or N-Gen, in terms of its media use and points to the important distinction between the passivity of broadcast media and the activity of interactive media. Even though the book in some ways is tied too strongly to the Internet hype of the late 1990s, some of the observations and ideas introduced are still valid, long after the bottom fell out of the stock market.

Taylor, M., Saarinen, E. (1994). Imagologies: Media philosophy. London: Routledge. [IM]

The authors try to capture the nature of interactive media and the state of society by critical and philosophical tools, outlining the idea of a communicative intellect oriented towards practice rather than theory, images and simulations rather than truth and reality. The form of the "book" follows the ideas introduced, being a visual and conceptual collage rather than a classic academic text.

Thackara, J. (2005). In the bubble: Designing in a complex world. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [D]

A design critic writing about contemporary life and our contemporary world in a macroscopic perspective, pointing to problems such as waste of natural resources, consumerism and flawed educational systems -- but always with a strongly optimistic message: We have designed ourselves into the situation we are in, we can design our way out of it again. The topics of the book are organized in themes such as speed, mobility, locality, learning and flow and in part they draw quite heavily on the successful series of Doors of Perception conferences that Thackara has been organizing. The book provides an excellent mix of big pictures, pertinent examples and interesting analyses and it should be an inspiring call to action for any designer. Since information technology is such an important element in contemporary society, many of the issues and positive examples Thackara raises are immediately related to interaction design in particular.

Tufte, E. (1983). The visual display of quantitative information. Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press. [A]
Tufte, E. (1990). Envisioning information. Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press. [A]
Tufte, E. (1997). Visual explanations. Cheshire,.: Graphics Press. [A]

The three seminal books by Tufte all address visual information presentation with a focus on accessibility and usefulness. The first addresses presentation of numeric data and different diagramming techniques. The second has a broader scope, including maps and other kinds of information, with a fine discussion of strategies for visual design. The third book is about visual representations of processes, causes and explanations. All three are unusually beautiful and well designed by the author, thus serving as good examples of their own topics.

Wardrip-Fruin, N., Montfort, N. (eds., 2003). The new media reader. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. [IM]

The New Media Reader is a massive collection of papers, articles and book excerts anticipating or contributing to the emerging digital medium. It includes most of the significant work from the 1940s onwards, thus in a way sketching a cultural history of "new media."
The first section addresses the complexity and combinatorial possibilities of digital media, including the earliest precursor of what eventually became hypertext and the www: Bush, Engelbart, Nelson and other computing pioneers along with prescient artists such as Ascott and Oulipo. In the second section, the social nature of the new media is explored in an equally appropriate selection ranging from McLuhan to Baudrillard and Deleuze/Guattari. The third section is slightly more loosely connected around activity and action, including work by Papert, Turkle, Stallman, Winograd/Flores and others. In the fourth and final section, countercultural and revolutionary themes are explored in writings of Suchman, Ehn/Kyng, Bolter, Moulthrop, Agre, CAE, Berners-Lee and others. The supplementary CD contains several hard-to-find examples, including a few seminal games and artworks and a generous video excerpt of Engelbart's 1968 demo of the NLS system.

Wellman, B. (ed., 1999). Networks in the global village. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. [I]

Within interaction design, a frequently debated issue has been how to integrate sociology and systems development in fruitful ways. Much of the discussion is kept on the level of design methods; Wellman and the authors contributing to this volume, however, illustrate a different approach. The book is concerned with general sociological analyses of communities and social networks, and how such structures change in contemporary society. Even though "contributions to design" are never explicitly mentioned, interaction designers are likely to gain many useful insights for design by reading this book.

Wildbur, P., Burke, M. (1998). Information graphics: Innovative solutions in contemporary design. London: Thames and Hudson. [A]

A collection of examples of information design, mainly drawn from static presentation situations such as signage and instructions but also including a fair number of interactive visualizations. The book comes across as a collection of inspirational examples, with lots of illustrations, but perhaps not very strong on analyzing the examples. Nevertheless, it will certainly serve as a resource for visual input to interaction design.

Winograd, T. et al. (eds., 1996). Bringing design to software. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. [M]

This collection represents an early attempt to articulate a design-theoretical perspective on information technology, by drawing together chapters from many of the pioneers of the field. The book is highly relevant as an orientation to different ‘ways of seeing’ and understanding interaction design.

Wixon, D., Ramey, J. (eds., 1996). Field methods casebook for software design. New York: John Wiley & Sons. [M]

Field methods of different kinds are needed to study situations where digital artifacts are to be deployed. This book introduces a selection of field methods, with a particular focus on qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews and participant observation. Practitioners of systems development and interaction design report their experiences of using various field methods, and the result is a rather useful collection.

Wurman, R.S. (1997). Information architects. New York: Graphis. [A]

A collection of work by 20 distinguished information designers, including some rather well-known to the field of interaction design such as Nathan Shedroff, Muriel Cooper and David Small. The book itself feels rich, with plenty of high-quality color images and a large and generous format. The contents are equally inspirational to anybody concerned with fostering understanding by visual means.

Zuboff, S. (1988). In the age of the smart machine: The future of work and power. Oxford: Heinemann. [I]

This is a book about computerization of work and its possible consequences in terms of changing power structures, erosion of professional skills, and so on. Zuboff argues against the tendency to automate in favor of what she calls the ‘informate’ approach. The book serves as a useful reminder of the interaction designer’s responsibility.

via - Jonas Löwgren

1 comment:

  1. It's a good article I understand Even though interaction design in itself is a young field, it draws heavily on the intellectual and artistic heritage of other design fields as well as the literatures of information technology and society. Who are interesting visit the site business strategy