Thoughts on Interaction Design book cover

Thoughts on Interaction Design

Interaction Designers—whether practicing as Usability Engineers, Visual Interface Designers, or Information Architects—attempt to understand and shape human behavior in order to design products that are at once usable, useful, and desirable. Although the value of design is now recognized as essential to product development, the field is often misunderstood by managers and other team members, who don’t understand a designer’s role in a team. This can cause inefficient and ineffective products.

Thoughts on Interaction Design gives individuals engaged in this profession the dialogue to justify their work to other stakeholders. It provides a framework upon which to build intellectual discourse, and it substantiates the rigorous and unique nature of interaction design work. Ultimately, the text exists to provide a definition that encompasses the intellectual facets of the field, the conceptual underpinnings of interaction design as a legitimate human-centered field, and the particular methods used by practitioners in their day to day experiences.

interaction designers, industrial designers, user experience practitioners, information architects, graphic designers, interface designers, user experience managers, design managers


Published: September 2009

Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN: 978-0-12-378624-1


  • People are clamoring for more copies of Thoughts on Interaction Design. It is one of two key books on interaction design practice that are of relevance to students and practicing interaction designers alike." Jodi Forlizzi, Associate Professor of HCII and Design, Carnegie Mellon University

    "This book occupies alone a special place on the designer’s bookshelf; it is truly a unique and lusciously written book that also benefits from being well-designed in its own right." -- Will Evans, Principal, Experience Design, Twin Technologies

    "The major strength of the book is its success in rendering theoretical content in an accessible way. The book delivers a healthy measure of critical thinking about the field of Interaction Design in a readable, conversational style." -- Bill Lucas, MAYA Design

    "Thoughts on Interaction Design became an instant classic. The 1,000 original bound copies of the book are treasured possessions of everyone lucky enough to have been able to purchase one." -- Steve Baty, editor for Johnny Holland magazine, a contributor to UX Matters

    "This book has an eloquent and clear way of communicating the context for interaction design both in theory and in application, outlining its relative place in business, academia, and in practice. - Liz Danzico, Chair of the MFA in Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts

    "MK author Jon Kolko talks with Jeff Parks of Radio Johnny about his recently re-released book Thoughts on Interaction Design!"


  • Introduction
    Section One / Understanding Interaction Design
    Chapter One: Multiple Roots, and an Uncertain Future
    Chapter Two: Computing and Human Computer Interaction
    Interaction Design in an Engineering Centric World
    Section Two / Connecting People, Emotions and Technology
    Chapter Three: A process for Thinking about People
    Chapter Four: Managing Complexity
    Chapter Five: Shaping Aesthetics to Inform Experience
    Interaction Design as Business Lubricant
    Section Three / The Rhetorical Nature of Interaction Design
    Chapter Six: Interaction Design and Communication
    On the Nature of Interaction as Language
    Section Four / Challenges Facing Interaction Design in Industry
    Chapter Seven: The Political Dynamics of Product Development
    Getting Design Done
    In Summary


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