Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons

Posted by on Jan 16, 2011 in Reading List | No Comments

Image of book: Design Is How It Works

My first introduction to this book was a captivating radio interview with the author, Jay Greene. In this book, Greene looks at how several companies such as OXO, Nike, Lego and REI design their products to create successful user experiences.

While there are many different design approaches, the most successful companies recognize that design is about creating something customers crave, filling an unspoken need and simply creating “something better”.

It requires knowing who your customers are and what they want or need. It also involves allowing the company (or yourself as a designer) to take risks by trying new approaches even if there is a possibility of failure. This book motivates you into being open to different ideas, being curious and being willing to try new methods as part of the design process.

While I am not a product designer, this book was very inspiring. I find myself looking more closely at products and companies­ — appreciating the thoughtful and innovative design processes that go into creating the user experiences that I love.

Listen to the KUOW 94.9 interview: Considering Product Design: How Products Become Icons and then buy the book.

“Experiences matter, and design can guide companies to create the ones customers want most”

Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons

Posted by on Sep 2, 2010 in Reading List | No Comments

“Design isn’t just the glossy sheen…it’s the experience you create, how the product works.”

Confession: I haven’t read the book yet but I will soon. Yesterday I listened to an enjoyable interview with the author, Jay Green. Although the focus of this book is on product design, it really applies to all design — graphic design, web design, basically the whole user experience.

The best design comes from recognizing a vacuum that needs to be filled. With my work, it means discovering/knowing what the end clients need or want and coming up with a design solution that fits. Perhaps it’s using a web solution over print, emails instead of direct mail, or some combination involving different media.

Being open to different ideas, willing to try new methods are all part of good design solutions.

Listen to the KUOW 94.9 interview: Considering Product Design: How Products Become Icons

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Posted by on Jun 8, 2010 in Reading List | No Comments

Image of book: Don't Make Me ThinkI just finished re-reading Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug.

I love this book! This book was required reading for one of my classes while I was in school and worth re-reading. It reinforces how interesting designing or redesigning sites for better web usability can be.