[Have to make this a brief review, as it’s not required for school nor work.]
In _designing for interaction_, Dan Saffer gives a concise and well-written introduction to the relatively new discipline of interaction design. This is the sort of book I’d love to see on a first-year design class reading list or in the careers section of a high school library. It’s also the sort of book that I’d give to any boss of mine that questioned the need to hire an outside designer for a project. (“Here, read this, then tell me if you still want to let engineering do everything on their own.”)
Saffer uses modern, popular technology (TiVo DVRs, mobile phones, web sites) as examples for interaction design or to illustrate his ideas. There are also a number of brief interviews with notables in the field giving their take on different design issues and concepts. These examples and interviews make the book more friendly and the reading experience is more enjoyable than the typical academic text.
Content is not sacrificed for accessibility nor is it dumbed-down for the non-designer. The basic framework and terminology of interaction design (and even design in general) are laid out in an easy to understand way. Terms or practices that might be unfamiliar to someone outside of design are clearly defined using plain English instead of design speak or computer jargon. Someone couldn’t go out and become a designer the day after reading this book but they would learn enough to lead them to further investigate interaction design as a career or to be able to make better decisions when hiring a designer or design firm.