Thursday, July 23, 2015

Recommended UX books, part 2

A photo of all five books mentioned in the text
Following up on my earlier post, here’s a second set of books in an informal series on recommended UX reading.

As a reminder, the series isn’t meant to provide a definitive list, but rather a set of books that I’ve enjoyed and found helpful in my UX work. Some of them will be well known and already widely recommended. Others may be less so, though no less valuable to me. A few might even be eccentric choices for a list like this. And some of them might make for excellent beach reading this summer!


User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product
by Jeff Patton, Peter Economy
A thoughtful, practical, and collaborative approach to thinking about products. We’re big on user story mapping at Boltmade.

The Elements of User Experience
by Jesse James Garret
One of the defining books on UX by the well-respected author, researcher, and practitioner, as well as co-founder of Adaptive Path.

Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World
by Peter Merholz, Brandon Schauer, David Verba, Todd Wilkens
Another insightful book on product design from the folks at Adaptive Path (a company since acquired by Capitol One).

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull
Loads of insights on how to organize a team for creative collaboration, from the co-founder of Pixar.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rule-breakers, and Changemakers
by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo
Plenty of hands-on activities that are useful in the UX world and beyond.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

An Apple product with imperfections that improve over time

My iPad 2 cover in 2011
My iPad 2 cover in 2011
I thought it would be be fun to revisit the cover of my Apple iPad 2.

As I’ve written in the past, one of the most striking aspects of the iPad design is the optional leather cover for the second model. Specifically, it transforms in appearance over time as it’s handled and acquires an imperfectly beautiful patina that’s specific to the owner and device. In 2011, only a few months after I had bought it, my cover had already changed in appearance from what it had been in its box.

Over time, the transformation has continued.

My iPad 2 cover in 2015
My iPad 2 cover in 2015
Today, almost four years later, the patterns of use imprinted on the cover in 2011 have become even more pronounced and deeply ingrained. The resulting contrast between the glass and aluminum iPad and the leather cover that protects it has become even more beautiful. Even allowing for inevitable differences in photographic conditions between then and now, the change in appearance is remarkable.

Wabi Sabi!