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The Art of Interactive Design by Chris Crawford

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<pre>Author/s : Chris Crawford
Publisher : No Starch Press
Category : Other
Review by : Margarita Isayeva
Rating : 7 horseshoes
Interactive design is a new approach to software building that embraces both "thinking content of software" and user interface. The book is a collection of author's thoughts on this theme, observations and anecdotes from practice. It is a mixture of common sense, examples of good and bad design (games, clocks, interactive story-telling), a few light excursions into "big culture" (J. Huizinga's "Homo Ludens" book, C.P.Snow' article on "two cultures") and theoretical musings over subjects like "abstraction", "metaphor" and "linguistics".
I was first put off by a very conversational, even chatty style ("This is stupid design", "This is idiocy!"), but then adjusted my vocabulary expectations accordingly. Another stylistic moment: the narrative was apparently transferred on the paper preserving its natural flow, without any substantial editing, whether you will consider it as a virtue or a drawback.
The book is oriented toward a non-programmer audience, young and enthusiastic, and for them it can serve as an easy-to-read introduction into a subject. Author's personality plays so prominent role, though, that I am not sure what the text introduces more into: an interactivity design, or author's ideas about interactivity design. Overall, I do not regret that I read it, but I am looking for a more systematic (and perhaps more objective) treatise now -- to balance my reading diet.

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