Thoughts on Interaction Design

2nd Edition

Authors: Jon Kolko
Print ISBN: 9780123809308
eBook ISBN: 9780123809315
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 25th January 2011
Page Count: 128
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Thoughts on Interaction Design, Second Edition, contemplates and contributes to the theory of Interaction Design by exploring the semantic connections that live between technology and form that are brought to life when someone uses a product. These connections may be thought of as interactions that, in aggregate, make up behavior, and are beginning to hint that a field known as design is a legitimately separate area of study alongside science or art.
This text defines Interaction Design in a way that emphasizes the intellectual and cultural facets of the discipline. It discusses the role of language, argument, and rhetoric in the design of products, services, and systems. This idea of language is extended to poetry, and the idea of a poetic interaction that affects not only the mind and body but also the soul is introduced. The text examines the process Interaction Designers in approaching complicated problems related to behavior and time. This process includes structuring large quantities of data, thinking about users, and attempting to support human behavior as it unfolds over time. Finally, the text prescribes a purposeful extraction of Interaction Design from the confines of business to leverage the design process for social, political, and economic problem solving.

Key Features

Provides new and fresh insights on designing for behavior in a world of increased connectivity and mobility and how design education has evolved over the decades

Maintains the informal-yet-informative voice that made the first edition so popular


practicing designers: interaction designers, industrial designers, UX practitioners, graphic designers, interface designers, managers

Table of Contents




Chapter One. Thinking About People

Chapter Two. Managing Complexity

Chapter Three. Persuasion and Communication

Chapter Four. Experience and Authenticity

Chapter Five. Poetry, Spirit, and Soul

Chapter Six. Judgment and Shifting Negative Behavior

Chapter Seven. Wicked Problems

In Summary



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© Morgan Kaufmann 2011
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

Jon Kolko

Jon Kolko is the Executive Director of Design Strategy for Thinktiv and is responsible for designing and delivering emotionally resonating and relevant products, services, and systems. Jon is also the Founder and Director of the Austin Center for Design, an educational institution in Texas. He has worked extensively in the professional world of interaction design, solving the problems of Fortune 500 clients. His work has extended into the worlds of consumer electronics, mobile, web, supply chain management, demand planning, and customer-relationship management. He has worked with clients such as AT&T, HP, Nielsen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ford, IBM, Palm and other leaders of the Global 2000. The underlying theme of these problems and projects was the creation of Design with a focus on Design Synthesis and the creation of meaning. Prior to working at Thinktiv, Kolko has held the positions of Principal Designer and Associate Creative Director at Frog. He was also a Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was instrumental in shaping the Interaction and Industrial Design undergraduate and graduate programs. Kolko sits on the Board of Directors for the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and is the Editor-in-Chief of Interactions Magazine, published by the ACM.

Affiliations and Expertise

Jon Kolko, Editor-in-Chief, ACM Interactions Magazine; Executive Director of Design Strategy for Thinktiv; Board of Directors, Interaction Design Association (IxDA); former Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design, Savannah College of Art and Design


"This book is a thoughtful discussion of design as a socially interactive medium rather than a book that presents the reader with a prescriptive set of rules and methods to provide ‘usability and ease of use.’ Its language is often academic. But for any designer who wishes to learn more about design and its philosophical implications, this book will provide food for thought."--ACM Computing Reviews

"In writing Thoughts on Interaction Design, the author 's reflective, learned, and articulate exploration has simultaneously provided an entire profession with a rallying point, a claim to credibility, and a vision. When we look back on the formative years of Interaction Design as a distinct endeavor, this book will surely be recognized as the seminal work."—Steve Baty, Principal, Meld Studios

"Jon is an important voice in the evolution of interaction design. In Thoughts on Interaction Design, he carefully explains the essential qualities of the discipline and its potential role in world, well beyond the design of user interfaces. If you are concerned with shaping the future, solving big problems and creating things and systems that bring out the best in people, then this book will help you understand and explain how practice of interaction design can help.-- David Cronin, Managing Director, Interaction Design at Cooper, co-author of About Face 3rd Edition

"Jon Kolko moves Interaction Design to a new level of analysis with this powerful, thoughtful book. Kolko demonstrates that interaction design impacts all aspects of our lives. That the tools and methods can be used for the solution of social and political issues and not simply for the development of products. This book is essential reading for all who wish to move beyond style to deep, impactful substance."--Don Norman, Nielsen Norman group, author of Living with Complexity

"This is a necessary updating