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Information Appliances and Beyond:…

Information Appliances and Beyond: Interaction Design for Consumer…

by Eric Bergman (Editor)

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Information appliances are defined in the introduction as appliances specializing in information, focusing on specific activities and generally capable of sharing information. The book is a collection of contributed chapters, focusing mainly on software interface design for PDA:s and other small computing devices. There are also more or less relevant contributions from related fields, including game design, interactive toys and persuasive computing. Personally, I found the interview with Rob Haitani – product manager of the first Palm Pilot – particularly interesting since it combines design sensibility with user-interface craft skills in a way that makes the chapter stand out. I read the book six years after publication, and in retrospect it is clear that filesharing and the explosive emergence of the personal music and video market changed the playing field for information appliances in a radical way that apparently could not be anticipated in the year 2000. One thing that they could have anticipated, however, which I miss in the book is the relation to product design and the relevance of designing physical and digital form as a whole.
  jonas.lowgren | Mar 23, 2010 |
This book is a series of essays, on the design of several different information appliances from Barney educational toys, through in-car navigational systems to the palm pilot. The chapter on the palm pilot and the chapter on Windows CE (windows for the iPaq) are back to back, and make a nice counterpoint to each other. Microsoft did some user testing and threw the results out because their branding worked better with the less preferred result; the Palm was deisgned with the user in mind ever step of the way -- says it all about what is wrong with many Microsoft products, really.

It is not necessary for anyone to read all of this book, though generally it is well written and easy to read. If you read only one chapter, read about the Palm -- it is a lesson in user centred design ( )
  danamckay | Oct 2, 2007 |
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