Best "Intro" book you've read

What is the best “Intro” to ID book you’ve read and would recommend to someone who is interested in ID?
Doesn’t have to be one book, it could be a few.

A lot of the books on the Books tab of core77 I’ve either read, or look like general design books, I’m looking for something specific to ID.


A little about me, I study Human-Computer Interaction so I’m very familiar with UX/IxD on the Web but my program is lacking an ID component.

Isn’t that sort of like saying that “I’m good at making sandwiches, so please recommend me a good cookbook so I can become a michelin star chef”?

I glanced through the book list that you mention, and there’s some sketching books there. Have you practiced any perspective sketching? Understanding three dimensional form is quite a big thing, and for that, I personally would recommend Elements of Design by Rowena Reed Kostellow.

Going back to the chef analogy, that’s knowing your produce, your ingredients basically.

After that, I might be weird, but I’m a Donald Norman fanboy. The Design of Everyday Things, The Design of Future Things and Emotional Design are my bibles… or at least, the only books which really, really have influenced me (and they were amongst the first design books I ever read as well).

For a chef, that would be knowing what to cook for whom and when to do it…

Anyway, I’ve probably lost you by now, but my recommendation would be to start cooking. :slight_smile: The pencil is your best friend when it comes to ID and the thing you will learn the most from. Good luck!

+1 on the Don Norman Books.

This one is also good

I’ve read a couple of Norman’s books, his TED talks are also very inspiring.

I’m a little confused as to what I was looking for myself, I think that Elements of Design book is probably the closest thing to what I was thinking.

Thanks for your suggestions!!

This one is poorly reviewed, but might serve as a good overview:

Product design is a distinct discipline. It is very difficult to cover in just one book. It also explains why their is no ID component to your studies. To learn about Industrial Design and be able to practice with any degree of acceptability, a 4 year degree scratches the surface.

A few others you might fine useful:

I tried this and I don’t think I’ve ever read more gibberish… but maybe it’s just me, I might not be enough art-schooly. Can anyone else chime in on this if it’s worth to really try to understand it? I kinda gave up with all the talk about “setting up your axes” and found I don’t really believe in theorizing beautiful form, you have too feel it…

I would be interested in hearing your review of the book. I didn’t know about that one and the topic is absolutely interesting to me, but that review makes it seem like you need to have a Google image search and Wikipedia going while reading it.

Yeah, but this book will help you put words to those feelings. :slight_smile: To me, it presented a vocabulary and an understanding which in turn helped me understand what I saw and how to explain that properly to other people. But I must admit that I had the good fortune of being tutored by two very talented professors who knew Ms Kostellow in person (one of whom sadly is dead now) and that might have helped me appreciate the book and its teachings more.