Book Review – The Principles & Processes of Interactive Design by Bloomsbury (Academic)

ISBN 978-2-940496-11-2

The Principles & Processes of Interactive Design by Jamie Steane

Published by Bloomsbury 30-01-2014 is a Course Reader under the Academic – Design category


RRP £37.99

7 Chapters – colour coded
Useful Resources
Acknowledgements and Credits

The introduction has two sub headings which are:

  • What is Interactive Design?
  • What this book does

Chapters cover the following subjects relating to the Interactive Design industry: research (around ideas and concepts), user-based design development, colour/digital image, typography, screen based grids/layouts, interactive formats and ideas for presenting. Each chapter explores the subjects broadly with lots of examples provided and a large amount of points of reference made. Seven Workshop tutorials feature.

The over-wordiness of the introduction gives way quickly and the writing is concise and informative on that which the title of the book conveys. This book is one from the Required Reading Range, formerly published by AVA Publishing, designed to support visual arts students throughout their time spent as an undergraduate. Author, Jamie Steane is generous with information. The quality of information is just so and therefore means this is a good companion guide, and it would be comprehensive enough, on the subject of Interactive Design, to act as a core text guide alone

The book was published in January 2014 and so the technical terminology used, the relevance and the availability of product, is, as, ‘of the moment’ as it can be. We make this point because the main content of the book is somewhat refreshing in approach. Steane looks back while looking forward so that he covers all angles, so a budding designer who might be seeking hard to find answers, should find them within these pages. This is the fundamental difference between this book and others, and what is out there on the web for that matter. For example – Storyboarding, of course the process can be done digitally (and mood board formatting too), but Steane also acknowledges that not everything remains computer based and that when it comes to planning and developing a design; possessing the ability to draw is still useful, albeit not essential. Another example of him encompassing all considerations is when he looks at typography, not just typographical styles, but how type can double up as an image. He reminds us that type is now being read more commonly on smaller devices, and he reveals the pitfalls about web published material becoming unreadable and he stresses that text on websites etc has to become mobile friendly. E-readers currently on the market are used to hit the point home. And as for photographic image manipulation and the related software available, yes, he mentions software many times like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and in many different contexts, but he also warns of the fuss surrounding image ownership. So you see, he demystifies things for us and does not allow gaps in comprehension and knowledge to form; and workshop tutorials allows for the practicing of what has been learnt.

A substantial and sturdy Paperback. 207 Pages. The book is well structured with bold, colour-coded chapters. Sub-headings fall under the topic of each chapter. Text is in an array of different styles, primary content is set out in indented paragraphs. Information from an industry perspective and the workshop tutorials feature on the final pages of each of the main chapters. Contributors have their brands featured throughout. A brief, single sided Conclusion by the author appears.

Beautifully and elaborately presented but will be a insightful book to own and be relevant for a few years yet, so is worth the outlay. Diagrammatic illustration, charts, and over 600 full colour photographic images feature

Editorially speaking this book is masterful. It must have been difficult for Steane to channel his information without crossing over and straying away from the aims and objectives he must have set himself. The book is written with clarity and with conviction. There are many publications available containing this kind of information for anyone studying (or working) at an academic level in this field. Steane says in his own Conclusion however ‘ With all the content covered, I hope that the subject of interactive design has been made clearer, and that it appears a little less magical and not so shrouded in mystery’ – and we acknowledge this to be the case, and we say this is why this book stands out as credible commentary on the subject in hand.


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