Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology

Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman

Publisher The MIT Press
ISBN 978-0-262-12271-9
RRP £25.95
Reviewed by David Totten
Score 8 out of 10

Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology Too often, perhaps, the field of systems analysis and design primarily focuses on the technical side of the process. But here is a book that concisely and effectively concentrates on the user interaction approach to system design.

The book would be useful for people interested in an introduction to system design, most likely students. It introduces its topics in a logical manner that is very easy to follow and flows naturally.

It starts by discussing the nature and character of the design process from initial idea to final output and proceeds to examine the characteristics of effective designers and the various methods and techniques for interaction design. The authors then study how these methods have been applied in both real and hypothetical situations.

The concluding chapters bring everything together and a comprehensive annotated bibliography provides many references for further pursuing the topic.

The authors continually return to the same case studies, thereby demonstrating how all the different design methods can be applied and come together. This allows the reader to see the cumulative effect of each method, finally resulting in a finished product or system.

If I had one reservation it would be that perhaps at times the authors' enthusiasm for their subject can lead to some rather debatable statements. For example, I would argue that the design of a new system or technology is generally more focused on what is commercially viable or will best serve the needs of a business or organization rather than '… what it means to be human, to live in a society…' Overall this is a minor point and is easily compensated for by the rest of the book’s contents.