The Books & People corner of the Community section offers lists of books on user interface and graphic design, well-known UI people, as well as a growing selection of book reviews. On this page we also present books and UI and graphic design experts.
We live in a world, which, on the one hand, has been shaped by natural forces and according to natural laws but which, on the other hand, has been shaped through human activity to such a degree that, as the authors of The Design Way write, "scientists have begun to label the present epoch as the Anthropocene era." They explain that "as human beings, we continuously create things that help reshape the reality and essence of the world as we know it. When we create new things ... we engage in design."
The authors, however, bemoan the fact that "design has remained surprisingly invisible and unrecognized in the world at large." They point out that their book, The Design Way, is an attempt to change this, making the case for design as its own tradition by "delivering what has been missing, namely "writing a book about the philosophy of design" and "formulating its fundamental core of ideas."
Read the review new
When our author decided to review Howard Rheingold's book Net Smart: How to Thrive Online and asked for a review copy, he did not think all that much about the consequences. However, as soon as he started reading, doubts arose in his mind about whether he was the right person for the job. After all, he had closed his Facebook account after a very short time – having never really used it – he has never twittered, and he does not use a smart phone. All in all, he lacks experience in the fundamental ingredients of today's online life. He pondered for a while and, having promised to write a review, finally came to the conclusion that – despite these obvious and serious gaps – there were still enough parallels between Rheingold's online life and his to allow him to understand the issues Rheingold discusses. So here comes the review.
At the Interaction 2012 conference in Dublin, Ireland, our reviewer attended Rachel Hinman's presentation, The Mobile Frontier, which was based on her then forthcoming book. Originally, the book was scheduled for publication in late 2011, but it actually took until June 2012 for it to finally go to market. He therefore "lost track" of it and only found out that it had been published in the meantime when he recently visited the O'Reilly online bookstore. There, he discovered Hinman's new book and immediately decided to download and review it.
In the meantime, not only the book made its way to book stores, but his relationship with mobile devices has also changed: He is now an iPad owner and is directly confronted with the joys and pains of mobile computing.
Colin Ware's book, Information Visualization: Perception for Design is intended as a comprehensive guide to what the science of human perception tells us about how we should display information. Ware characterizes the human brain is as a "super-computer" for finding patterns in information. According to him, our understanding of visual data and visual information is greatly enhanced or impeded by the way information is presented. It is therefore essential that visual data be designed in such a way that key information and important patterns will stand out. Ware points out that is only by understanding how perception works that the best visualizations can be created. In his book, he therefore outlines the key principles for a wide range of applications and designs, providing designers with the tools to create visualizations of improved clarity, utility, and persuasiveness.
Like previous editions of Information Visualization, this third edition, which essentially is a complete update of its predecessor from 2004, strives for becoming the key resource for practical design guidelines, based on perception, which can be applied by practitioners, students, and researchers alike. It includes the latest research and state of the art information on multimedia presentation, lists more than 160 explicit design guidelines based on vision science, and offers a new final chapter that explains the process of visual thinking and how visualizations help us to think about problems.
The targeted readership of the book includes:
professionals in user interface/user interaction designer; computer graphics
professionals; financial analysts; research scientists and engineers;
data miners; and managers faced with information-intensive challenges.
(From the book description, adapted)
Colin Ware (2012). Information Visualization, Third Edition: Perception for Design. Morgan Kaufmann • ISBN-10: 0123814642, ISBN-13: 978-0123814647
The authors describe how the Web is transforming from a one-way information delivery channel to a socially rich communication vehicle, resulting in the humanizing of the Web and fulfilling the Web's original promise. They explain how the Web continues to change businesses, software design, the way we perceive people and the skills required of us. The Web's key challenges are defined as six paradoxes and its role as an innovation ecosystem is introduced, emphasizing the consideration of the social Web as a software platform, user experience, and business ecosystem.
The volume explores the challenges related to the search for Zero-to-One innovations, breakthroughs, and the key strategies for discovering these kinds of innovations for the social Web (or through the social Web for non-Web environments). It also envisions the next generation of the Web, including both transformations that are already ongoing and visible as well as new expectations.
An important message for companies and organizations
is to adopt a set of core business values that will facilitate innovation
processes in this future humanized Web. These business values are very
humane. Finally, the authors discuss key threats and opportunities for
(From the book description, adapted)
Harri Oinas-Kukkonen & Henry Oinas-Kukkonen (2013). Humanizing the Web: Change and Social Innovation. Palgrave • ISBN-10: 113730569X, ISBN-13: 978-1137305695
What Is It About? Milan Guenther's book Intersection is about applying the practice of design strategically in complex enterprise environments, consisting of an organization and the ecosystem it is embedded in. It portrays a design approach and an enterprise design framework of 20 aspects to align the overarching strategic efforts of brand identity, enterprise architecture, and experience design on a common course. The book aims to give designers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders a model and a comprehensive vocabulary to tackle complex design challenges, and explains how to navigate key aspects and bridge diverging view points. Designed to help practitioners shape tomorrow's enterprises, Intersection connects design work on aspects as diverse as services, interactions, operational processes, and business models, down to tangible outcomes such as digital apps or physical buildings.
What Has This to Do with User Experience? Experience is one of the most fundamental strategic choices an organization has to face. Designing for experiences of customers, partners, staff, or other stakeholders is about defining the role the enterprise plays in the lives of people it addresses. Its offerings, services, processes, and systems are fulfilling a goal that can be expressed in experiential terms, in the ways they are transforming people's experiences. Experience design therefore is about much more than someone using a device – it touches all activities and parts of an enterprise. The enterprise design framework connects this thinking to applied design work. It brings together practices such as service design, information architecture, and interaction design, but also other aspects such as brand identity, business models, and enterprise architecture.
Is it About Theory or Practice? Although being based
on some theory, Intersection attempts to be practical. In nine
exemplary case studies, it explains how different organizations are applying
design thinking and practice reshape their enterprise, with one example
being SAP. Other case studies include Jeppesen (part of the Boeing company),
Apple, BBVA, Instagram, and IKEA. Moving from strategy through conceptual
design to tangible results, Intersection shows what is relevant
at which point, and what expertise to involve when addressing a certain
aspect or challenge.
(From the author, adapted)
Milan Guenther (2012). Intersection: How Enterprise Design Bridges the Gap between Business, Technology, and People. Morgan Kaufmann • ISBN-10: 0123884357, ISBN-13: 978-0123884350
Rachel Hinman is a researcher, designer, and thought leader in the mobile user experience field. Her passion for cultural study, art, and design coupled with the belief that people can use technology to improve the human condition have been the driving forces in her career for over a decade.
Currently, Hinman is a Senior Research Scientist at the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, California. There she focuses on the research and design of emergent and experimental mobile interfaces and mobile experiences for emerging markets. Prior to joining Nokia, Hinman was an experience design director at Adaptive Path, and a mobile researcher and strategist for Yahoo's mobile group. She successfully lead research studies on mobile phone usage in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Hinman is the author of the book The
Mobile Frontier. She writes and speaks frequently on the
topic of mobile research and design and is the creative force behind
the 90 Mobiles in 90 Days Project.
(based on biography on rachelhinman.com, adapted)
Anthony Dunne is a professor and head of the Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art in London. He is also a partner in the design practice Dunne & Raby. His work with Fiona Raby explores how design can be used as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of emerging technologies. Dunne and Raby's work has been exhibited and published internationally and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Frac Ile-de-France and Fnac, as well as several private collections.
Dunne studied Industrial Design at the RCA before working at Sony Design in Tokyo. On returning to London he completed a PhD in Computer Related Design at the RCA. He was a founding member of the CRD Research Studio where he worked as a Senior Research Fellow leading EU and industry funded research projects. Between 1998 - 2004 he taught in Design Products where he jointly led Platform 3. Dunne was awarded the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2009.
Dunne wrote the book, Hertzian Tales (read the review).
At the Interaction 2012 conference in Dublin, Ireland, he held a keynote
entitled, What if... Crafting Design Speculations (read the conference
(From Dunne & Raby and RCA Websites, adapted)
Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art in London: www.design-interactions.rca.ac.uk
Dunne & Raby: www.dunneandraby.co.uk
Bio: www.dunneandraby.co.uk/content/biography (Dunne & Raby) • www.design-interactions.rca.ac.uk/anthony-dunne (RCA)
Jonas Löwgren is a professor of interaction design and co-founder at the School of Arts and Communication (K3), Malmö University, Sweden. He specializes in collaborative media design, interactive visualization, and the design theory of the digital materials. He has taught interaction design in university courses and in companies since the early 1990's and initiated the influential two-year master's program in interaction design at Malmö University in 1998.
Löwgren has published over 50 scientific papers and three books,
including Thoughtful Interaction Design (with Erik Stolterman,
read the review),
and a vast range of general-interest and pedagogical material. His design
portfolio comprises some 50 projects from explorative research and professional
contexts. At the Interaction 2012 conference in Dublin, Ireland, he held
a keynote entitled, Exploring, Sketching and Other Designerly Ways
of Working (read the conference
(From short bio on homepage adapted)
Janice Rohn is Vice President of User Experience at Experian. Prior to Experian, she was Vice President of User Experience at World Savings Bank, and prior to World Savings, she built user experience groups at Siebel Systems and Sun Microsystems. During her career, Rohn has worked in a variety of organizations, hired over 60 UE professionals, and designed and built over 15 usability labs. She has also worked at PeopleSoft, Apple, and Stanford University.
Rohn has been a leader in strategic user experience and cost justification: researching and utilizing the most effective methods and organizational approaches to ensure optimal decision-making. Rohn has authored chapters in both editions of Cost-Justifying Usability. She was president and a founding board member of the Usability Professionals' Association (UPA).
Rohn also founded the Outreach effort, working with US governmental
agencies on the benefits of user experience. She has written for over
40 publications, and has delivered many presentations at CHI, UPA, Interact,
and other conferences, along with keynote speeches and courses at several
(From Consumer Reports Webwatch, adapted)
Dan Saffer is an interaction designer and the author of two books: Designing Gestural Interfaces and Designing for Interaction. Currently, Saffer is the founder of Syntactic Devices. Prior to that, he was the Director of Interaction Design at SMART Design. He was also the co-founder and one of the principals at Kicker Studio. Furthermore, Saffer is a former member of Adaptive Path.
Since 1995, Dan has designed devices, software, Websites, and services that are currently used by millions every day. He speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on interaction design all over the world. He and his products have been in Business Week, Fast Company, and Wired, and his design innovations have received several patents.
Saffer is one of the co-founders of the Interaction conference (held
by the IxDA).
(From bio provided to amazon.com by the author, adapted)