Thoughtless Acts?: Observations on Intuitive Design
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Thoughtless Acts?: Observations on Intuitive Design

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From IDEO, the global innovation and design firm responsible for such landmark products as Apple's first computer mouse, comes a primer in the observation method that keeps their practice human-centered and ever ingenious. People unconsciously perform ultraordinary actions every day, from throwing a jacket over a chair back to claim the seat, or placing something in the te...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 3rd 2005 by Chronicle Books
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If you were to pick up this book with no expectations, you would be greatly disappointed. 90% of the book is pictures, photographs loosely divided into categories to show item is use. The remaining 10% covers the inspiration and use of the book, with the author's interpretations of the earlier photographs.

Where this book shines is when you approach it in need of inspiration. When you are lacking in new ideas, a quick glance through this book can grant you a new look on the world we interact with...more
Earl Gray
IDEO fascinates me organizationally. I love how they approach design, both as a product for their clients and as a lived-out value for their employees.

This book has no words, and is smaller than a paperback book - more like the size of a small Moleskine journal. It is also beautiful, both in a design execution aspect and in its tactile sense.

As you "read" it - going through the pictures, page by page, you will see the connective floe of them, and how one leads to an aspect of another, and how t...more
Nathanael (Boehm) Coyne
This is a tiny photo album that you can flip through in about 5 minutes although I do recommend you read Jane's thoughts at the end of the book. Though brief, this book is an fantastic lens into the oddity of human behaviour (and unexploited design opportunities). I'm sure there'll be a few scenes in this book where you'll go "OMG other people do that too?". Not sure how practical this book is but I'm sure it'll come in handy as a thought starter, to look to for inspiration and get yourself into...more
Robbie Henderson
A book by designers, for designers...
Ok maybe for real people as well as design heads but as a student this was one of the fantastic books which first opened my mind to what product design means to the people who it benefits.

It's a collection of observational photographs detailing the use, miss-use and adaption of the civilised world we've made for ourselves. E.g. Simple innovation such as; plastic bags taped on parking meters to show they are out of order, a claw hammer used as a door stop or...more
Deanna Knippling
This isn't a book explaining anything. It's a series of photos along with just a few things for you to think about, then a short essay and photo captions - it's more like a short course on observing design than it is a book. It's hard to explain. A Zen design book?

At any rate, it's giving me all kinds of ideas, and I feel like I've only just scratched the surface with my first read. I love the way the book's put together, too - the spine is exposed, yet it has hard covers. Very tactile.

Finally got around to reading the book (instead of flipping through it); and it is a good one if one sits with it a while in reflective practice. Yes for courses.

Do need to look at the original source for the word "affordance": James Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception 1979.
"we perceive the environment in terms of its possibilities for actions—in other words what objects or spaces 'afford.' [170]

reacting responding co-opting exploiting adapting conforming signaling
Hans de Zwart
This little gem of book teaches you a different way of looking at the world. Fulton Suri's pictures show you how you can be an anthropologist and how this stance can help inspire new products (the IDEO way). For me it was wonderful to find a "kindred spirit": it not many people who take this point of view...

Why a book that is about design would make a back cover that makes you pick up the book upside down still baffles me though. Maybe to turn reading into a thoughtfull act?
Louise Cochrane
To get the most out of this book, it would be helpful to know something about IDEO and their approach to design.

This book is not a teaching tool, more of a springboard for your own ethnography and research ideas. All in all, I found it to be an interesting little book and would recommend it for a flick through.
I really liked the ideas presented in this book – pictures depicting everyday, automatic, and unconscious behavior, and the design ideas that stem from them. The pictures tell stories, and I wish that there were more of them in the book.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it. I bought it for 10 cents at a discount store just to tear it apart and use the pictures in various artwork. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but there you go.
After attending a lecture by Suri, I couldn't resist buying this book. Her explorations of strategic and tactical design are nothing short of enlightening.
$35 for this? Not even worth the $20 I paid for it. Kinda neat, but NOT worth more than $10. $12 tops.
Mar 31, 2008 Vikna added it
Creative ... thought stimulation
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