Adding Depth to Skills

18 Dec 2007 - 11:35am
6 years ago
14 replies
576 reads
brianh
2010

All,

While many of you have followed a very straight career path into
interaction design, I'm probably not alone here in having come into this
field along a more winding path. Even now I'm in a position where I get
to wear several specialized hats and would like to add some depth to my
knowledge of those fields. Given that, what resources can any of you
recommend for the following fields? These could be books, websites,
conferences, user/professional organizations (such as IxDA), or other
things.

* Information Architecture
* Interaction Design
* Interface Design
* Usability
* Other related areas

I'm aware of some resources, such as IAI and the UPA (Ultimate Players
Association?!), but suspect I'm missing quite a few.

Thanks!

Brian J. Hoffman
Interface Designer
Minitab Inc.
Quality Plaza
1829 Pine Hall Road
State College, PA 16801-3008
USA/CAN/MEX: +1 800 448-3555 Ext.#514
Tel: +1 814-238-3280 Ext.#514
Fax: +1 814-238-4383
Web site: www.minitab.com

<http://>

Comments

18 Dec 2007 - 12:28pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Dec 18, 2007, at 8:35 AM, Brian Hoffman wrote:

> While many of you have followed a very straight career path into
> interaction design, I'm probably not alone here in having come into
> this
> field along a more winding path.

"Design is like California. No one is born there." -Dick Buchanan

I put together a list of a few IxD books I've read and enjoyed/found
useful:

<http://astore.amazon.com/odannyboy-20>

Definitely not a complete list, but a start.

Dan

18 Dec 2007 - 12:33pm
Petteri Hiisilä
2004

Brian Hoffman kirjoitti 18.12.2007 kello 18:35:

> Given that, what resources can any of you
> recommend for the following fields? These could be books, websites,
> conferences, user/professional organizations (such as IxDA), or other
> things.
>
> * Other related areas

Cooper's "Communicating Design" course has been extremely helpful,
because it helps you to sell your design to the stakeholders and
developers - no matter what hat you wore or will wear to come up with
the design. Their document templates are worth the price alone.

I'd also recommend Steven Pinker's "How the Mind Works" (1999). It
gives you insight to both design and communication; both mental models
and presentation models. If you like that book, continue to "Blank
Slate" and "Stuff of Thought" by the same author.

The first book "Marks out the territory on which the coming century's
debate about human nature will be held". (Quote by Oliver Morton, The
New Yorker - which I agree with - so read the books in that order, if
you want to study breadth-first :)

Thanks,
Petteri

--
Petteri Hiisilä
Senior Interaction Designer
iXDesign / +358505050123 /
petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi

"Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated."
- Tim Peters

18 Dec 2007 - 1:08pm
Nick Quagliara
2007

This might be a good start

Conferences (if you can afford them)
CHI: http://www.chi2008.org/
DUX: http://www.dux2007.org/
DIS: http://sigchi.org/dis2008/

Books
Thoughtful Interaction Design (Löwgren &Stolterman)
About Face (Cooper)
Observing the User Experience (Kuniavsky)
Usability Engineering Lifecycle (Mayhew)
Acting with Technology (Kaptelinin & Nardi)
Designing Interactions (Moggridge)
The Design of Everyday Things (Norman)

I'm sure others will have things to add to the list.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23651

18 Dec 2007 - 3:46pm
Jeff Seager
2007

Surely you're not leaving out "Designing the Obvious," by Robert Hoekman Jr.!

One of my favorites, Robert.

Jeff, also on a winding path

> From: dan at odannyboy.com
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:28:09 -0800
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Adding Depth to Skills
>
>
> On Dec 18, 2007, at 8:35 AM, Brian Hoffman wrote:
>
> > While many of you have followed a very straight career path into
> > interaction design, I'm probably not alone here in having come into
> > this
> > field along a more winding path.
>
> "Design is like California. No one is born there." -Dick Buchanan
>
> I put together a list of a few IxD books I've read and enjoyed/found
> useful:
>
> <http://astore.amazon.com/odannyboy-20>
>
> Definitely not a complete list, but a start.
>
> Dan

_________________________________________________________________
Get the power of Windows + Web with the new Windows Live.
http://www.windowslive.com?ocid=TXT_TAGHM_Wave2_powerofwindows_122007

18 Dec 2007 - 5:40pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Surely you're not leaving out "Designing the Obvious," by Robert Hoekman
> Jr.!
>
> One of my favorites, Robert.

Thanks for the plug, Jeff. Cheers!

(And on a note of shameless self-promotion, the next book will be out in
March. http://rhjr.net/shorty/amazon/DTM/)

-r-

18 Dec 2007 - 8:21pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Dec 18, 2007, at 12:46 PM, Jeff Seager wrote:

> Surely you're not leaving out "Designing the Obvious," by Robert
> Hoekman Jr.!

It's still on my To Read pile! (Sorry Robert, I know I'm behind!)

I didn't want to recommend anything I hadn't personally read.

Dan

18 Dec 2007 - 9:26pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> It's still on my To Read pile! (Sorry Robert, I know I'm behind!)
>
> I didn't want to recommend anything I hadn't personally read.

Oh, I completely respect that - no worries. And you should only recommend it
if you think it's worth recommending.

But you know, I have read your book. ;)

-r-

19 Dec 2007 - 2:15am
cone johnson
2007

Search for "interaction" on www.aiga.org, and you'll find several
articles including one from a familiar name - that of our very own
Dan Saffer. ;-)

The 'related content' sidebar will yield even more juicy tidbits.

AIGA = one of my favorite resources. Online offline.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23651

19 Dec 2007 - 11:27am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Dec 18, 2007, at 11:35 AM, Brian Hoffman wrote:

> I'm aware of some resources, such as IAI and the UPA (Ultimate Players
> Association?!), but suspect I'm missing quite a few.

Hi Brian,

You can find books we recommend to our clients at http://www.uie.com/
bookstore and many more resources on our site: http://www.uie.com

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

19 Dec 2007 - 11:35am
Scott Cobban
2007

I love all these suggestions. I clearly have a lot to read. However, a big
question that I have is how easy are these books to get into? There are so
many books out there that are extremely valuable, but they're very hard (for
me) to get into and get through (thus making the concepts harder to grasp).
I don't do well with heavy material and, try as I may, I just don't make it
through the book. I get upset and discouraged temporarily, but that's a
story for a different thread ("Times when you have been discouraged and
upset by interaction design"?).

So, I ask you, how straightforward are these books that have been
recommended? I'm still new to Interaction Design and could use a few
"beginner to intermediate" suggestions for books. I love the simplicity and
straightforward nature of, say, a "Don't Make Me Think" but I don't know
where to go from there.

Thanks,
Scott

On Tue, 18 Dec 2007 23:15:59, cone johnson <conejohnson at gmail.com> wrote:

> Search for "interaction" on www.aiga.org, and you'll find several
> articles including one from a familiar name - that of our very own
> Dan Saffer. ;-)
>
> The 'related content' sidebar will yield even more juicy tidbits.
>
> AIGA = one of my favorite resources. Online offline.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23651
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

19 Dec 2007 - 4:00pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Dec 19, 2007, at 11:35 AM, Scott Cobban wrote:

> I love the simplicity and
> straightforward nature of, say, a "Don't Make Me Think" but I don't
> know
> where to go from there.

Three initial recommendations then:

Robert's book, Designing for the Obvious
Dan's book, Designing for Interaction
Bill Moggridge's book, Designing Interactions

All of them are well written and easy reads. Each will give you a
different perspective on interaction design. These three are
essential for the bookshelf of any serious interaction designer.

Jared

19 Dec 2007 - 4:21pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Dec 19, 2007, at 1:00 PM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

>
> Three initial recommendations then:
>
> Robert's book, Designing for the Obvious
> Dan's book, Designing for Interaction
> Bill Moggridge's book, Designing Interactions
>
> All of them are well written and easy reads. Each will give you a
> different perspective on interaction design. These three are
> essential for the bookshelf of any serious interaction designer.

God bless you Jared! (The money is on its way, btw. :) )

One more for the introductory list is the other Robert's book, Robert
Reimann that is, and Dave Cronin and some other guy named Alan Cooper.
About Face 3 is another essential if you are getting into the field.

Another great starter book is The Design of Everyday Things by Don
Norman. And hey, Peter Merholz has a new podcast with The Don:

<http://www.adaptivepath.com/blog/2007/12/13/peterme-and-the-don-norman-in-conversation-2/
>

Dan

19 Dec 2007 - 4:46pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Robert's book, Designing for the Obvious
> Dan's book, Designing for Interaction
> Bill Moggridge's book, Designing Interactions
>
> All of them are well written and easy reads. Each will give you a
> different perspective on interaction design. These three are
> essential for the bookshelf of any serious interaction designer.

You're very kind. I'll be over to clean your house this weekend.

-r-

20 Dec 2007 - 8:36am
Murli Nagasundaram
2007

I got to IxD via HCI and my early influences were Ben Shneiderman and Don
Norman. The books were academically- rather than practioner-oriented
(although Norman's POET/DOET does a fairly decent job of crossing over), but
getting some theory under your belt ain't bad idea. As one of my teachers
used to say, 'There's nothing more practical than a good theory.'

Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions is a good book to have, although it
does subtly - maybe not too subtly - push The IDEO Way. But it's a great
way to learn about some of the great folks who've paved the way. The
diversity of designs and design contexts and the numerous illustrations make
it a great complement to a more theoretical/principles oriented text, such
as from Shneiderman or Norman.

One nice book to have as a reference, once you've gained momentum is:Universal
Principles of Design by Lidwell, Holden and Butler.

Dan Saffer has listed George Lakoff and Mark Johnson's Metaphors We Live By
-- lovely little book I read two decades ago which opened my mind wide.
Which brings up the need to read widely, any and every dang thing that
seems interesting, but esp. in cog psych, linguistics/semiotics, art/design,
social psych, cultural anthropology, recreational mathematics, artificial
intelligence/computer science (read Godel Escher Bach by Doug Hofstadter;
will take a while, but mind blowing). Dan has also listed Steven Johnson's
Emergence, which is about Complexity Theory. There are lots of books in
this area which will really tickle your mind. Here is a list:

http://murliman.googlepages.com/complexity

If you're scared of big books, then Dan's book won't scare you at all. I
didn't think one could compress so much into 200-odd pages including
illustrations, but Dan has done it.

Now, of course, I need to get to Robert's book.

Regarding Scott (Corban's) plaint regarding 'heavy stuff' -- I too suffer
from EyesGlazingOverItis. Sometimes, it is enough to just skim through
books, look at illustrations, read from the middle out, read just the stuff
that looks interesting, gain a general feel for the material. Do this with
enough books (like, while standing in a bookstore, in case there are still
brick and mortar bookshelves around) and then some common patterns will
begin to emerge. That will excite you enough to want to read more of the
book, perhaps from beginning to end, in the right order. If you hit upon
the right book, it will give you enough of a skeletal framework from which
to construct your own mental model of the field. Then as you read and learn
other stuff, you will hang it off of this skeleton, like on a MindMap. Each
of us has to build our own perspective on or model of the field, even while
there are some common, generally accepted principles (but as you can see
from all the raging debates in this forum, there can be much disagreement!).

And then there is no substitute for face time with experienced folks and
enthusiasts, at local SIGs, and especially during coffee breaks at
conferences. The best people in the field are often fine human beings and
love to share.

Another biblio:

http://murli.design.googlepages.com/biblio

Regards, and happy reading.

- murli

Syndicate content Get the feed