If you’ve ever marveled at the elegant simplicity of the IBM logo, with its horizontal stripes linking three letters, you’ve admired the artistry of Paul Rand (1914–1996). A towering figure in the world of twentieth century graphic design, his work has a timeless quality that in our age of ever-multiplying screens seems more relevant than ever.
You’re reading this on a screen… but do your eyes feel a sense of relief whenever they encounter words on a printed page? You may have moments of near-ecstasy listening to streaming music… but do you feel curious every time you walk past that neighbourhood shop that sells vinyl records? Texting may be like breathing to you and your phone may be an atlas of your brain… but does the journal section of your local bookstore call out to you?
If you have an undefined ache for experiences that aren’t conveyed by pixels, then David Sax’s recent book “The Revenge of Analog” is for you. It’s a brilliant overview of a renewed interest in the tangible phenomena that many expected the digital world to replace. Reading it could transform the way you live your life.
This book’s title is so appealing. It’s like those headlines that call out at you: 21 Ways to Be More Likeable or 36 Foods to Avoid Forever or 49 Tactics to Save Your Relationship. The promise of quantifiable knowledge can feel irresistible.
It makes sense that the author would use an attention-getting trick, because it’s part of her expertise. Susan M. Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology and has spent 30 years linking research findings about human behaviour to how we can better design technology. This book is a fascinating tour of ways to create products that match the way people actually think and behave.
How was this past year for you? Did you achieve your goals? Were your ambitions thwarted? Did you set off on new adventures? Did you make unexpected discoveries? Was your life transformed or did it stay relatively the same?
And now that a new year has begun, how are you feeling about the days and months ahead?
I’ll admit it; I initially found this book a bit intimidating. Once it was sitting around my apartment it seemed a bit textbook-y, even though it was quite thin, and I imagined that once I started reading it, it wouldn’t be an entirely pleasant experience.
At the same time, I was curious. I’d worked in an Agile team earlier in the year. What was Lean UX and how could it help me get better in collaborating with colleagues in creating great digital products?
This book grabs you right from the get-go: its format is square, its cover is black, white and red and its cover typography is distinctively hand-drawn. Steal like an artist? Is that really permissible?
Flip through the book and the engagement deepens. Provocative quotations jump out at you, handwritten chapter titles span left and right pages and whimsical illustrations appear throughout.
Welcome to cvanderspek.com! I’m glad that you’re here.
This is my new online home, where I’ll be sharing my passion for all things design. In the portfolio section, I’ll be posting examples of my UX design work and insights into the creative process behind them. In the blog section, you’ll find my reviews of books on design and creativity, as well as my thoughts on the user experiences of everyday life.