17 July 2008

Reflecting on ‘Subject to Change’

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Subject to Change
Nadyne Mielke, user experience researcher in the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft wasn’t so impressed apparently with Adaptive Path’s recent book Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design.

“I was disappointed when I got my pre-order of this book. At a scant 160 pages, I was skeptical that it could offer very much insight.

On reading it, I was proven correct. Much of the book was nothing more than an extended advertisement for Adaptive Path. Case studies were too short to learn much from. The only case study really discussed in depth was of Target’s new prescription bottles, which have been discussed more in depth and more usefully in too many other books.

The book’s eight chapters are full of short sections; many of them read as though they are blog entries. They’re strung together with little regard for content or context. The seventh chapter, a flawed discussion of agile development, is completely worthless. The book could have been so much better if the authors had taken the time and effort to better consider their arguments and write a more cohesive work.

If you can look past the book’s many shortcomings, there are some interesting nuggets in there. Sadly, the useful bits comprise less than 10% of the book.”

I personally consider the book more as an introductory guidance book for people not yet fully familiar with the field, rather than a professional manual for UX professionals, which might explain her reaction.

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