Sunday, November 06, 2005

Total Interaction

There is a new book out with the title "Total Interaction -- Theory and practice of a new paradigm for the design disciplines" edited by Gerhard M. Buurman. I find the book full of short interesting texts on very diverse aspects of interaction design. Everything from game design, simulations, tangible interfaces, to virtual worlds, hybrid reality is covered. The book is nicely designed with a lot of graphics and images. However, the layout makes reading a bit tedious, especially the references. For the person searching for new ideas and insights in one of the special areas covered, I think the book is a valuable contribution to the field.

I like the overall idea behind the book as it is presented in the Introduction by the editor Buurman. I think the way interaction design is framed is at the forefront of the field, imaginative and exciting. At the same time, this makes me as readers eager to find more about the "big" idea of total interaction -- but this is where the book is a disappointment. I wish Buurman and his fellow authors could have made more efforts in laying out the basic philosophy as a "new paradigm" (which the title promises). I think they have some really good insights that shows here and there in the texts, but I really miss a more thorough discussion of what that paradigm means and how it should be understood.

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