Sep 26, 2010

Essential Interaction Design Essays and Articles: Dan Saffer's Lists, Don Norman, and Interactions Magazine

I came across a link about Dan Saffer's recent post, Essential Interaction Design Essays and Articles.  Equally important is Dan Saffer's List:  Top Ten Essential Interaction Design Books

Dan Saffer is one of my "important influences".  When I was taking HCI and Ubiquitous Computing courses, I bought the first edition of his book,  Designing for Interaction:  Creating Innovative Applications and Devices.  In today's world of technical convergence, it is an important read, as Saffer's content crosses a number of disciplines.

It doesn't surprise me to learn that the #1 book on Saffer's Essential Interaction Design Books list is  list is Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things.  According to Saffer,  "there’s no getting around it: this is the book. Affordances, mental models, and other bits that have all become part of the general lexicon all started with The Don’s book. A must read." 

Don Norman's book was required reading in the Human-Computer Interaction class I took a few years ago.  As I read through the book, I sensed a familiar tone.  I later learned that Don Norman was the co-author of a required textbook for one of the psychology courses I took when I was a university student the first time around.    

Don Norman's thinking has influenced me for decades - he continues to be an influence, because he writes articles for one of my favorite publications, Interactions Magazine:

It brightens up my day when I open up my mailbox- the one at the end of my real-life driveway- and find my Interactions magazine, in all of its well-designed, well-written,  semi-glossy-paged glory, waiting for me to open up and read.   The September/October, 2010 issue includes articles on topics related to authenticity in new media, the complexity of "advancement", design and usability, and the politics of development. 

A must-read is Gestural Interfaces: A Step Backwards in Usability, co-authored by Don Norman and his collaborator, Jakob Neilson, 

Here is an excerpt from the article, which highlights some of the problems of rushing to get products with natural-user interfaces out to market:
"Why are we having trouble? Several reasons:
  • The lack of established guidelines for gestural control
  • The misguided insistence by companies (e.g., Apple and Google) to ignore established conventions and establish ill-conceived new ones.
  • The developer community’s apparent ignorance of the long history and many findings of HCI research, which results in their feeling empowered to unleash untested and unproven creative efforts upon the unwitting public"
(Interactions Magazine is a publication of ACM CHI -Association of Computing Machinery, Computer-Human Interaction interest group).

Other articles by Don Norman, published in Interactions Magazine:
The Research-Practice Gap: The Need for Translational Developers 
Natural User Interfaces are not Natural 
The Transmedia Design Challenge: Technology that is Pleasurable and Satisfying
Technology First, Needs Last: The Research-Product Gulf
To be published, available on the jnd website:
Systems Thinking:  A Product is More Than The Product  

My resource pages:
RESOURCES: Natural User Interaction, InfoViz, Multi-touch, Blog roll, and More - a huge mega-list of links! 
Conferences, Research, Resources page

Living with Complexity
Donald Norman, to be release in October 2010
Living with Complexity

Interactions Archives

Here are a list of books/articles, suggested by Dan Saffer's readers:

Designing for Interaction – Saffer, D. (2nd Edition; 2009)
Thoughts on Interaction Design – Kolko, J. (2009)
The Humane Interface – Raskin, J.
Digital Ground – McCullough, M.
Inmates are running the Asylum – Cooper, A
Designing Interactions – Moggridge, B (ed.)
Everyware – Greenfeild, A.
Designing Social Interfaces – Malone & Crumlisch
Emotional Design – Norman, D.
Invisible Computer – Norman, D.
Persuasion Technology – Fogg, BJ
Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology by Jonas Lowgren and Erik Stolterman (Paperback – Mar 30, 2007)

Designing Visual Interfaces by Mullet/San
Steve Krug – Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Design Research: Methods and Perspectives edited by Brenda Laurel 
Information Architecture (“The Polar Bear Book”) by Peter Morville.

Thanks to Putting People First for the link to Dan Saffer's list!

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