Notes about Thoughts on Interaction Design by John Kolko

We read Thoughts on Interaction Design 2nd edition as the fifth book for the UX Book Club Amsterdam and reviewed it yesterday. Here are my noteworthy passages from the book, which is not without its issues, but it does give a credible philosophical foundation for our practice.

p.34 A mature designer respects and embraces the often ill-structured nature of the process and —because he knows to expect messiness during the act of creation— he promptly forgets about it completely. Process becomes innate, and the phenomenon of design intuition takes over.

p.37 This view might be informed by an understanding of culture, or an intricate care and love of society.

p.55 When viewed under the guise of language, these products become the fabric of society and allow people to express themselves, to communicate with others, and tho shape their environment in unique ways.

p.57 designers must both realize and control the rhetoric of their designs.

p.72 Some have become wise to the farce, and no amount of decoration can lure these consumers into the trap. They select only handcrafted objects of beauty, and they’ve learned to judge good design and honest labor.

p.73 Consider, then, that designers can focus on supporting authentic human experiences with their work in a less forceful, controlling manner. Rather than striving to control every aspect of a time-based set of interactions, and rather tan attempting to shepherd people through a contrived set of experience gates, designers can support the authenticity that occurs naturally in life by producing incomplete or partially produced design artifacts.

p.77 A poetic interaction can generally be characterized as having or encouraging, three main elements: honesty, mindfulness, and a vivid refined attention to sensory detail.

p.83 Yet if designers focus only on the low-hanging fruit of functionalism or usability, the human experience with designed objects is destined to a level of banality.

p.88 The pursuit of a creative solution is not an easy activity, yet the difficulty —the sense of accomplishment that occurs when completing a difficult task— can be thought of as one of the main attractors to participants in the design process.

p.88 There is more to life than usability.

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