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Adaptive design Interaction design Reading

Interaction design books

Pink = highly recommended!

Information Appliances and Beyond

Eric Bergman ed. One of the best interaction design books to date. With case-studies on various design problems from Palm OS usability to Nokia contextual design issues. Just enough detail and anecdotes to get a good sense of design process.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Humane Interface

Jef Raskin. An absolutely essential book for anyone developing an interactive product. Raskin explains some excellent ideas for usable interfaces that are better suited to large file systems and the internet.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Designing Visual Interfaces

Kevin Mullet, Darrell Sano. A useful book with plenty of visual examples on how to simplify and enhance desktop interfaces.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Dust or Magic: Secrets of Successful Multimedia Design

Bob Hughes. Somehow forgotten, this book gives a great overview for successfully designing rich multimedia interfaces.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Reinventing the Wheel

Jessica Helfand. Plotting the history and design of information wheels, those interactive tools that can tell you the cooking time of an egg to the blast radius of a nuclear bomb.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design

Brenda Laurel ed. A collection of dated (early 80s) essays that begin to see interface as a design discipline. Complex and theoretical.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Designing the User Interface

Ben Shneiderman. Really thorough book, concentrating heavily on software interface design from a programming perspective.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Bringing Design to Software

Terry Winograd. A dialogue around the design process in software development.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Plans and Situated Actions

Lucy A. Suchman. A new approach to interaction design using new social science models.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

GUI Bloopers

Jeff Johnson. A lighthearted book highlighting common interface mistakes.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Alan Cooper. Really good ideas to solve common interface design issues. Cooper shows that the biggest problem in interaction design is that it is controlled by the developers and programmers, and advocates the need for interaction designers at every level of software production.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Apple Human Interface Guidelines: The Apple Desktop Interface

Apple Computer. The original guidelines for developing MacOS GUI interfaces. The version for MacOS X can be downloaded from apple.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Categories
Adaptive design Interaction design Reading Research Social

Adaptive design books

Notes on the Synthesis of Form

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Nature of Order

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.com

The Oregon Experiment

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

A Pattern Language

Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Timeless Way of Building

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

How Buildings Learn

Stewart Brand.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams

Mitchel Resnick.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

Steven Johnson.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web

David Weinberger.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution

Howard Rheingold.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Adventures in Modeling: Exploring Complex, Dynamic Systems with StarLogo

Vanessa Colella, Eric Klopfer, Mitchel Resnick.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

A New Kind of Science

Stephen Wolfram.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Control Revolution

Andrew L. Shapiro.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Society of Mind

Marvin Minsky.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Electric Meme

Robert Aunger.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet

Sherry Turkle.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Virtual Community

Howard Rheingold.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Design for Community

Derek M. Powazek.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Community Building on the Web

Amy Jo Kim.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Online Communities

Jenny Preece.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Categories
Experience design Graphic design Information design Interaction design Media Narrative Television Usability

Design for television

David’s reference to 18 points as the minimum size equates to 18 pixels if you are coming from a web background.

On some iTV projects I have pushed the type down to 16 pixels, but be very careful about colours and contrast, and enquire about the production path to air: if the work is going to be transferred via DV tape, squeezed through an old composite link, or online-edited with high compression, then you might want to leave type as large as possible.

In some cases ? such as using white text on a red background ? you can add a very subtle black shadow to the type, which will help stop colour bleed and crawling effects. Even if you dislike drop-shadow effects, it will still look flat and lovely on a broadcast monitor.

Safe areas need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The default safe areas in most editing and compositing software date from years ago before the widespread use of modern, widescreen televisions.

Try extending the safe area for non-essential text in interactive projects, and consult broadcaster guidelines for their widescreen policies: many channels now broadcast in 14:9 to terrestrial boxes, and offer options to satellite and cable viewers.

The largest problem is that widescreen viewers often crop the top and bottom of the image by setting their TV to crop 4:3 to 16:9. Some cable/satellite companies remove the left and right of the image to crop 16:9 to 4:3 for non-widescreen viewers, leaving us only a tiny, safe rectangle in the centre of the image to work with.

Robert Bradbrook (maker of Home Road Movies) has a some technical but excellent information on designing graphics for 16:9 television and film formats, including a sample safe area.

There are also excellent documents on picture standards from the BBC.

But this is one thing I don’t understand: according to the BBC: “Additional [20 or 26 horizontal] pixels are not taken into account when calculating the aspect ratio, but without them images transferred between systems will not be the correct shape.” Can anyone confirm that this is the case for PAL images?