Physical Sketching Slides

I’ve given this talk a few times now. It started with an introduction to physical sketching for a workshop on stylistic interaction at the Tweak festival in Limerick, and then has been modified slightly for presentation to MA students in SARC. This is the most recent version, and contains a short exercise at the end for using physical sketching in the explorative design stage of a novel musical instrument.

The talk is based upon Bill Buxton’s book “Sketching User Experiences”.

The BeatBearing is used as a design example, to help illustrate the difference between sketching and prototyping in the design process.

‘Stylistic Interactions’ workshop at TWEAK


Myself and Michael Gurevich are running a workshop at the TWEAK interactive art and live electronic music festival. The festival will be held in Limerick running from the 22nd to the 27th of September, and the workshop itself will be on Wednesday the 24th. The workshop will focus on how to use interaction design to create stylistic interactions. Here’s the blurb:

“This workshop explores the creation of stylistic interactions through observation, design and prototyping. The workshop will take place over two sessions, The first session will start with a short talk that will introduce the workshop participants to the concept of stylistic interactions and the practice of interaction design. Participants will then be presented with their first task, which will involve observing and documenting interactions around Limerick. The second session will start with a short primer on rapid prototyping and physical sketching methods. The aim will then be to redesign one of the interaction situations that the participants discovered in the first session, with the aim of creating an interface that allows for greater expression of style.”

Books on Interaction Design and Design Theory

Here’s a list of the books that I have read recently whilst researching for an essay (or perhaps thesis chapter?) on the theory of both design and interaction design. The books are listed below in the same order as they are stacked in the photo above. Although I won’t claim that this list is in any way comprehensive, I feel that there is a good range of books here for anyone interested in researching design, and interaction design.

  1. “Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology” By Jonas Löwgren, Erik Stolterman. I recommend this to anyone interested in interaction design. This book is both readable and thought-provoking.
  2. “Thoughts on Interaction Design” By Jon Kolko. This book gives a great overview of what it means to be an interaction designer without delving into the theory.
  3. “The Laws of Simplicity” By John Maeda. This book should be a compulsory read for all interaction designers.
  4. “Principles in Design” By W. H. Mayall
  5. “What is a Designer: Education and Practice: A Guide for Students and Teachers” By Norman Potter
  6. “The Nature of Design” By David Pye
  7. “Notes on the synthesis of form” By Christopher Alexander. A design classic.
  8. “Technology as Experience” By John McCarthy, Peter Wright
  9. “How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified” By Bryan Lawson
  10. “Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change” By Victor Papanek
  11. “The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action” By Donald A. Schön
  12. “Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art, and the Myth of Transparency” By Jay David Bolter, Diane Gromala
  13. “Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices” By Dan Saffer
  14. “Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design” By Bill Buxton. This book helps to clarify amongst other things the difference between a prototype and a sketch. Very useful, and a good read.
  15. “Developments in Design Methodology” By Nigel Cross
  16. “Design: History, Theory and Practice of Product Design” By Bernhard E. Bürdek
  17. “Designing Interactions” By Bill Moggridge. This seems to be the place to start as an introduction to interaction design, particularly for the history of the field.
  18. “What Designers Know” By Bryan Lawson
  19. “Interaction Design: Beyond Human-computer Interaction” By Jennifer Preece, Jenny Preece, Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp
  20. “Taking Software Design Seriously: Practical Techniques for Human-computer Interaction Design” By John Karat