Book review: Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge

Designing Interactions
According to Andrew Otwell (a Seattle, WA based information architect and interaction designer), Bill Moggridge’s new book Designing Interactions is “an important book, the first attempt at a real cultural history of the field of interaction design, from its beginnings with Douglas Englebart and Xerox PARC, through current work designing for ubiquitous computing.”

“Unfortunately,” he says, it “suffers from some very serious flaws,” and he hopes “that all readers will bring an especially critical eye to it.”

In his review, he focuses on a few things in particular that bother him about the book and Moggridge’s approach to the material.

“First, he overuses (and misuses) the interview format, without providing authenticating evidence for the stories told by his subjects. Long stretches of the book feel like little more than mindless design-star fan journalism about the authors pals and their companies.”

“Finally, Moggridge never misses an opportunity to use his own company, IDEO, in a case study, or one of its employees in an interview. But by failing to make that vested interest clear, Moggridge turns the book into a marketing project. Bruce Sterling’s jacket blurb describes Designing Interactions as “a labor of love.” In this case, love is, if not blind, than pretty nearsighted. The book really should at the very least have the word “IDEO” in its title.”

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  1. […] Just found that Putting People First posted a link to a book review by Andrew Otwell.  Coincidentally I just got “Designing Interactions” by Bill Moggridge a couple of days ago. I browsed through it quickly but haven’t had the time yet to read it thoroughly and properly. My first impression was very positive, it seems […] Just found that Putting People First posted a link to a book review by Andrew Otwell.  Coincidentally I just got “Designing Interactions” by Bill Moggridge a couple of days ago. I browsed through it quickly but haven’t had the time yet to read it thoroughly and properly. My first impression was very positive, it seems to be a very diverse collection of interviews with many experts from the field that the author collected and conducted in the last couple of years. A DVD with short pieces of the interviews is also provided. […]

  2. […] Un libro importante con dei notevoli difetti. E’ questo il giudizio di Andrew Otwellsu “Designing Interactions” il nuovo libro di Bill Moggridge sulla storia del design dell’interazione. In particolare Otwell rimprovera all’autore l’eccessivo ricorso all’intervista e l’onnipresenza di IDEO – società di Moggridge – in tutto il libro. […]