Push Start: The Art of Video Games

Review by Andy Polaine I grew up with video and computer games. When I was a young child, I remember my father coming home from the pub telling me about the fantastic game he had played there. He described it as a TV mounted in a box with a knob you could rotate in order to control a ball in a kind of tennis game. The game was Pong, of course. It seems like only yesterday… A couple of Christmases later in the late 70s the “family present” was a Prinztronic Tournament...

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Design Axioms

(Click to enlarge) Have you ever wanted to learn interface design in a single day? Well, you won’t be able to, at least not thoroughly. You would, however, be in pretty good shape if you started that day by flipping through the Design Axioms deck. The set of 16 foundational principles contained within the illustrated cards provide a great place to start learning the essential rules of interface design. (Click to enlarge) Design Axioms was created by Juhan Sonin, an MIT Lecturer with...

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Generative Design: Visualize, Program, and Create with Processing

If you are wondering what generative design is, or curious about the potential impact it may have on your practice, grab this book and read the appendix first. Head straight to page 460 and read about the new methods and processes that generative design offers. With this information fresh in your mind, go back to the beginning and look through the sample projects, work with the sample programs and tutorials, and you will begin to see and understand the potential this method of design has to...

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The Icon Handbook

What do hieroglyphs, washing machines, clothes, tweeting and satellites all have in common? At one point or another they have made use of icons to communicate one thing or another. Whether it’s what temperature water to wash your t-shirt in or how to find earth amidst the other planets in the galaxy, icons are amazing tools of communication that can work even outside the barriers of language itself. The Icon Handbook sets out to give designers all the tools that they need to begin...

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Sleepwalkers

(Click to enlarge) Sleepwalkers was a multimedia art experience created by Doug Aitken and presented at the MOMA in 2007. The exhibition was comprised of a series of 8 moving images that were broadcast on the exterior of the MOMA buildings and consisted of the stories of 5 individuals who represented every day citizens of New York City. Five years after the exhibition, Princeton Architectural Press has produced the Sleepwalkers Box documenting the monumental exhibition. (Click to...

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Mobile Web Design by Cameron Moll

Mobile the user; not mobile, the device. Mobile is more than just being wireless. Mobility transcends freedom from wires; it suggests an entirely different user experience. This quote from Mobile Web Design by Cameron Moll sums up the essence of his book perfectly. When designing for mobile devices, designers and developers need to think about more than just aesthetics. The portability of mobile devices has placed a much greater need on designers to understand the context of use, and how...

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Thoughts on Interaction Design, Second Edition

How often do you read a design text that impacts your life dramatically? As someone relatively new to the field of Interaction Design, John Kolko’s Thoughts on Interaction Design, Second Edition has allowed me to understand so much about the way I think, and the approach I’ve taken towards designing over the years. It’s content has shed light on many thoughts and ideas I’ve contemplated at one point or another, regarding design and its role in many aspects of human life...

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Designing Web Interfaces

Review by David Little Theresa Neil’s and Bill Scott’s Designing Web Interfaces (Amazon: US|CA|UK|DE) catalogues and describes seventy five design patterns – solutions to common problems – for building rich interactions on the Web. Not a book about visual design or particular technologies but rather about the whys and hows of interaction design for the Web; or maybe more simply, standards for Web interaction: This book is about interaction design: specifically, interaction...

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Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories

Review by Matthew Sanders Donna Spencer’s debut Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories (Amazon US) distills several years experience applying card sorting techniques to web projects into a highly practical guide on card sorting. Some information architecture books take a general approach and cover a large range of topics in a single book. These books serve an important purpose of explaining what information architecture is, best practice principles, and how to communicate designs...

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The Designful Company

Review by David Sherwin “If you wanna innovate, you gotta design. – Marty Neumeier From the airy confines of interior design to the tailored minutae of the type designer, the varied disciplines of our profession continue to rush outwards like galaxies fleeing the Big Bang. And the force that drives our profession’s expansion? The universal process we call design. As designers, we have lived and breathed this process often enough to embody its power, in whatever domain we...

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