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Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices
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Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  459 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Explore the new design discipline that is behind such products as the iPod and innovative Web sites like Flickr. While other books on this subject are either aimed at more seasoned practitioners or else are too focused on a particular medium like software, this guide will take a more holistic approach to the discipline, looking at interaction design for the Web, software, ...more
Paperback, 231 pages
Published July 28th 2006 by New Riders Publishing (first published July 18th 2006)
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Dan Saffer's book is a thorough yet high-level look at the emerging and evolving practice of Interaction Design. Although each chapter could easily be its own book — and in most cases, such books exist — the shallow-yet-broad scope of Designing For Interaction was appealing. Each chapter is sprinkled with interesting interviews with top-notch designers and educators: Hugh Dubberly, Shelley Evenson, Larry Tesler, and more.

With that said, I have two criticisms of this book:

First, in easily 50% of
Craig Birchler
My go-to pre-job-interview book. If you're a seasoned IxD veteran this book won't help you progress the field of design forward in any compelling ways. However, it will give you quick, simple anecdotes and examples consumable for a non-design audience. Alternatively, if you're working with with a new team of non-designers, this book would act as a great 1-night read to bring them up to speed.
Luigi Greco
It's funny how a book about interaction design fails to provide a good interaction with its own content by constantly interrupting the reading experience with two pages long boxes in the middle of a sentence.
Besides that, it's a short introduction to the subject and it can be useful to understand some basic topics.
Madeline Ashby
I'm not giving this book a top rating, but that's only because I used a single chapter from it in the framework of my design thesis on border security and therefore cannot speak to the book as a whole. Specifically, I read the chapter on service design, which incorporates scholarship from experience design. Saffer's frameworks are clear and easy to understand, and his commitment to the art is obvious. I recommend Saffer to anyone who wants to know what service design is and how it should work. I ...more
Sharon Bautista
One of the more substantive introductions to user experience design that I've read. I especially appreciated the section on strategy, a important element of design often neglected by UX books.
Mar 29, 2014 Diogo added it
Lent to me by Jill. Great overview book, even if it's from 2007. Ch 5 is good.
Cool introductory book despite its publication date (2007).
Excellent as an overview of doing design, including things that might be considered business strategy, which I like. This book avoids falling into the trap of talking about design as pretty things, and provides an overview of the different approaches to design, and has pointers to other books and resources for learning more. My only criticism is that it can't devote very many words to each topic, because it's a general overview of design rather than a thorough handbook, so you really need to loo ...more
Deniss Rutseikov Ojastu
Although written for designers, the book provides structure for managing creativity when coming up with new services and products. Useful for people dealing with new product development and for entrepreneurs in general - as it focuses greatly on user needs and user appreciation of his/her interaction with the product/service. Nice examples and interesting peek into the future of systems around us as well as their design needs.

Many passages seemed too basic - like explaining why design for servic
I would've given it a higher rating if he hadn't pulled so liberally from the graduate curriculum of Carnegie Mellon's Master of Design program without citing his sources. A single mention of the school in the introduction, and a single mention of the architect/pioneer of the philosophy that the MDes programs espouse, is not at all adequate.

Otherwise, though, the stuff he wrote on his own is a pretty good primer of interaction and user experience design.
I was impressed by the organization and conceptual clarity of this book. Saffer also provided multiple perspectives and indicated when a point of view was controversial. I appreciated his final chapter on ethics. I've never seen a design book that deals with the ethical responsibility of designers before.
An easy read and presented so much better than most of the textbooks I've read on the matter.
Found this while unpacking at my new place and gave it a reread. Much like the book Don't Make Me Think did for usability testing, this book takes a nice simple approach to breaking down the many aspects of interaction design a designer could use.
Sep 25, 2008 Rick rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Interaction Designers
Recommended to Rick by:
Dan Saffer is a Senior Interaction Designer for Adaptive Path, one of the premier interaction design firms in the world. The book is an easy read and provides great insight to anyone wanting to learn more about interaction design.
For a basic overview of Interaction Design, I liked how this book was presented. It was clear and easy to read. Compared to some of the other books chosen for my course this one was usually a preferred resource for me.
Nelson Zagalo
A good introductory book for anyone trying to grasp the idea behind interaction design. Not opening completely new fields of research, but presenting the problems and some approaches to succeed in entering the area.
Ms. Jen
Somehow Mr. Saffer managed to take what should be a fun & interesting topic to anyone who loves & lives computers and he made it dull-academic-wire-grey-academic-framed-dull.

I couldn't finish it.
Marcia Johnston
An okay intro to design principles. I especially liked the interviews with designers sprinkled throughout. Overall, though, not as helpful a book as it could be.
Nathan Bussiere
I found this to be a very top-level overview. If it's your first book about IXD, that might be good, but if you have read many others you can probably skip it.
Sep 26, 2008 Pete rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: someone who doesn't know anything about web/interaction design
First half was really pretty good. It gets pretty watered down after a while, explaining simple concepts that any first year designer would know.
Covers a lot of essential interaction design works, computer and other real world designs. Sometimes gets a bit too simple..
Not really that great of a design book to read. Just a listing of techniques and workflows.
Apr 16, 2009 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: product Managers, product designers, web desigers,
Good foundation for the discipline. Well written and concise. A little lofty at times.
Mar 25, 2011 Moyra is currently reading it
to better understand what my husband does with his work days - pretty fascinating sofar
A gentle introduction to what the heck Interaction Designers generally do.
Dan Saffer's book is full of design laws and rules of thumb, including the disproven "magic number seven" rule for number of items on a given page that users should be allowed to choose from. This refers to a study done in the 1950s that revealed that most people can hold no more than 7 random bits of information in their head at any given time. However, more recent studies have shown that if the information bits are somehow related to each other, the human mind has a much greater capacity for r ...more
Mohamed Ansari
Mohamed Ansari marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
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“There's an old joke among software developers. When something works in an unexpected but strangely effective way, the developers often kid, "Oh, that's not a bug. That's a future." While this is usually a joke, designers can use the same technique of reframing the problem when tackling their own projects. In fact, there's an old joke among designers: "It's not a problem. It's an opportunity.” 0 likes
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