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Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons From Science Fiction
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Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons From Science Fiction

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  265 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying these "outsider" user interfaces, designers can derive lessons that make their real-world de ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 368 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Rosenfeld Media (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.82  · 
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 ·  265 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I heard about this book from the 99% Invisible episode "Future Screens Are Mostly Blue", which I highly recommend giving a listen. It covers some of the more fascinating topics in the book - not only why computer interfaces in science fiction tend to be blue (the most futuristic color!), but also why the first flip cell phone was a commercial failure (it flipped down, while Star Trek had primed us for decades to expect communicators to flip up), and why that super-cool gestural interface in Mino ...more
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ux
There are a lot of interesting observations about the scifi aesthetic here. For example: if you want to make your technology look retro, use capital letters and monospace fonts. To evoke advanced technology, use a sans serif typeface. Color coding is often used to differentiate different alien races. Social status must be taken under consideration when depicting a conversation two people where one of them is a volumetric projection, i.e. hologram, so you can't have Darth Vader look like a toy in ...more
Chris Noessel
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wrote it. So I think it’s pretty…uh…great?
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Science Fiction as a Protoyping Tool

Skype and FaceTime are my videophone. I have available to me a Star Trek style communicator that I can carry around with me that keeps me in touch with home, friends and work. and my children can ask HAL (Siri/Google Voice Search) for timely information I can look into my liquid crystal screen, point and click a few incantations and magically some item from half way around the world will appear at my door, albeit in a week or so. . My (near) Universal Translat
David Rosen
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Insights for Designers Telling Stories about "Tomorrow"

I’m mildly obsessed with the design techniques that make something look futuristic. Sure, you can point to something recent, like Black Panther's sand table, and say it looks futuristic because it’s showing the edge of what’s possible. But why then do movies from decades ago — The Time Machine (1960), Alien (1979), and Weird Science (1985) — to name a few, still 'read' like they're ahead of today?

The reason is that there is a set of de
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bt
Let me start by saying that technology and I do not get along. That being said, I sometimes had a hard time understanding what I was reading. That did not stop my enjoyment and fascination with this book.
The breakdown of how we look at certain things and how the design is used to provoke certain understandings was really interesting. The thought process of using designs to guide people into a wanted train of thought was intriguing and kept me going. Even when I had to pause and look up more exp
Abhishek Kona
Dec 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
I expected this book to draw parallels between interface design in Sci-Fi and the real world. Surprisingly it does not talk about any interface examples in the current real world. It just focusses about different interface systems in movies.

The book does not have good content, nor any scientific/data-driven points. Its an opinion piece without making any opinion. Its more of a study of the state of the world of interfaces in science fiction.

Avoid this book.
Graham Herrli
This book has an intriguing premise, but no clear target audience.

The premise is to draw interaction design lessons from interfaces in scifi films and tv shows. In theory, because those interfaces visualize the future, they should be able to help designers to imagine interfaces beyond historic constraints.

The ostensible audience for these lessons is interaction designers, but the problem with writing for such an audience is that most or all of the lessons presented should already be patently obv
Apr 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, design
An impressively thorough look at futuristic interactive systems depicted in science fiction media. I have to say that the audience for this book is probably limited to that overlapping segment in a Venn diagram of folks interested in user interaction and science fiction fans. Because it concentrates on fictional systems, the potential practical takeaways are limited (although there's a nifty anecdote about how a topographic engineer for the U.S. Army was inspired by the X-Men movie version of a ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
God, I wanted to love this book but alas it was not to be.

The idea behind the book, that we can push the frontiers of UX design by looking at how UX design is done in Science Fiction TV and movies, seemed like a really great idea, and after the early chapters (particularly the first chapter on mechanical UX) seemed very promising.

In the end, however, this book felt a little bit too much like a laundry list of how SciFi has treated various categories of 'fantastic' UX, covering topics like volum
Paul van Buuren
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hoe meer ik nadenk over ‘Make It So‘ hoe enthousiaster ik word. Van een afstand bekeken is het een introductieboek in basisprincipes in interactie-ontwerp, geïllustreerd met science-fictionplaatjes. Maar dat is niet de grootste kracht van het boek. Wat ik het belangrijkst vind is dat het boek je verder laat kijken dan de gangbare patronen van interactie. De eerste hoofdstukken zijn verdeeld over diverse interactiecategorieen, met onder meer mechanische interactie, visuele interfaces, gebareninte ...more
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Science fiction is a good source for interaction design inspiration. Plus it shapes the expectations of the audience how interactions should work, before the technology is ready. See science fiction movies as prototypes where you can evaluate whether a certain interaction could make sense in a future product. The book is an inspirational read if you are interested in possible future interaction paradigms.

There is a lot of inspiration in science fiction movies.
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this, because combining two topics of interest to me (science fiction and user interface design) could hardly fail to entertain. However, I'd hoped I would actually learn a few things, or maybe at least be able to recommend this as a textbook, and I just didn't find that kind of substance.

Basically, I'd just say that if you are interested in both of these topics, you will probably be entertained as I was. That's about it.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying these "outsider" user interfaces, designers can derive lessons that make their real-world de
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Did a great job of being a fun and yet serious exploration into why science-fiction user interfaces use the approaches they do and how to copy or NOT copy their effects in real UIs (and why). Only three stars however because it got a little long-winded in places and because although it was a fun book, I'm not entirely sure how applicable their learning is to a real design approach.
Tommy Carlson
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Entertaining look at human interfaces in the world of science fiction movies and how they can be applied to real-world stuff. Entertaining, but not gripping. This is a book to peruse, not read straight through. Suffers in eBook form, on an eInk eReader, due to the poor resulting quality of the example screenshots.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well worth dipping in to for insights and inspiration.

There are some gaps, but it's also fairly comprehensive.

Happily the guys are continuing their work in this area through their website, and actively seek out contributors.
Nov 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
It's rare that I give up on a book, but less than a third of the way through this one I couldn't bare to continue. I now know more about Star Trek than I care to and learned nothing new about interaction design. A disappointing book from the usually great Rosenfeld.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this as part of a UX book club at work and I did not enjoy it. In fact, none of us did. It was essentially a lengthy lengthy cataloging of SciFi interfaces with shallow "design lessons" thrown in.
Ravi Sinha
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
How to make your interfaces (Websites/ apps) look like those from sci-fi movies. Very nice discussion and comparison, lessons learned, caveats and what the authors call 'apologetics'. The wording is a bit awkward and difficult to follow at times, but a fun read.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
fun, with more than a few actual useful points mixed in. Some of it is a little silly, but that comes with the territory.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Entertaining, but not earth shattering. Definitely a fun read
Adam Wiggins
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up, computing
Great concept. There are lots of full-color pictures to illustrate the concepts discussed (and compare movie interface elements side-by-side). But I got bored about 1/3rd of the way in.
Richard Martin
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Dec 17, 2018
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Oct 29, 2018
Shelby Aranyi
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Sep 19, 2017
margaret duffy
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Nov 26, 2018
Om Suthar
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Jun 23, 2015
Philippe K
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Mar 23, 2015
Madeline Ashby
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Aug 06, 2013
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Goodreads Librari...: Same edition, same ISBN, different format 3 173 Sep 19, 2012 04:31PM  

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