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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is to read […]
Janet H. Murray
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Digital artifacts from iPads to databases pervade our lives, and thedesign decisions that shape them affect how we think, act, communicate, andunderstand the world. But the pace of change has been so rapid that technicalinnovation is outstripping design. Interactors are often mystified and frustrated bytheir enticing but confusing new devices; meanwhile, product design teams struggleto articulate shared and enduring design goals. With Inventing the Medium, JanetMurray provides a unified vocabulary and a common methodology for the design ofdigital objects and environments. It will be an essential guide for both studentsand practitioners in this evolving field. Murray explains that innovativeinteraction designers should think of all objects made with bits--whether games orWeb pages, robots or the latest killer apps--as belonging to a single new medium: the digital medium. Designers can speed the process of useful and lasting innovationby focusing on the collective cultural task of inventing this new medium. Exploringstrategies for maximizing the expressive power of digital artifacts, Murrayidentifies and examines four representational affordances of digital environmentsthat provide the core palette for designers across applications: computationalprocedures, user participation, navigable space, and encyclopedic capacity. Eachchapter includes a set of Design Explorations--creative exercises for students andthought experiments for practitioners--that allow readers to apply the ideas in thechapter to particular design problems. Inventing the Medium also provides more than200 illustrations of specific design strategies drawn from multiple genres andplatforms and a glossary of design concepts.
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