Art of Interactive Design

A Euphonious and Illuminating Guide to Building Successful Software
by Chris Crawford

December 2002, 408 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-886411-84-5

$29.95


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Contents | Reviews | Updates

An understanding of what makes things interactive is key to the successful creation of websites, computer games, and software. In The Art of Interactive Design, Chris Crawford explains what interactivity is, how it works, why it's important, and how to design good software and websites that are truly interactive. Crawford's colloquial, conversational style makes it easy to grasp the fundamentals and the theoretical underpinnings of interactivity, as he discusses specific social and artistic issues.


About the Author

Chris Crawford, a former game developer, is the author of the classic The Art of Computer Game Design (Osborne/McGraw-Hill). He is currently at work on Erasmatron, an interactive storytelling project.


Table of Contents

Part I: Fundamentals
1 What exactly IS interactivity?
2 Why bother with interactivity?
3 Speaking
4 Thinking
5 Listening
6 The Interactive Loop
7 Architectures

Part II: Design Advice
8 Guidelines
9 Anthropomorphization
10 Bloopers
11 Clocksetting
12 The Design Process
13 Advice for Specific Fields
14 Dedicated Devices
15 Why learn programming?
16 Soft Math

Part III: Theory
17 Process Intensity
18 Linkmeshes
19 Play
20 Abstraction
21 Indirection
22 Linguistics
23 Metaphor
24 Anticipation

Part IV: Social and Artistic Issues
25 A History of Interactivity
26 Control Versus Interactivity
27 The Two Cultures Problem
28 Interactive Storytelling
29 Subjunctivity
30 Futures

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Reviews

"Crawford is a fine writer with an engaging style that never glosses
over the tough points, but never slows you down. I think you always come
away from one of his books entertained and inspired."
--Dr. Dobb's Programmer's Bookshelf Newsletter

"This thoughtful author shares his views on everything from color intensity
to variables as he explains the need to make a site interactive."
--Bytes.com

". . .discusses the theories and principles of interactive design in a
discursive style."
--Book News

"This book integrates [Crawford's] best thinking into a unified set of rules and guidelines for effective interactive design."
--Barnesandnoble.com

"Crawford's breezy, conversational style makes it easy to grasp the fundamentals and the theoretical underpinnings of interactivity, as he discusses specific social and artistic issues."
--Columbus Dispatch

". . . Crawford shares his insights, techniques, and experiences for
developing software that interacts effectively with its users."
--Reviews.com

". . .an excellent instructional guide, an informative overview, and a
'must-have' supplement for personal and professional interactive computer
programming reference shelves."
--MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

"Chris Crawford's 'The Art of Interactive Design' rewards extended
exploration and study…if you build software systems, it's worth your time
to read this book."
--SINCE1968.COM

"an easy-to-read introduction"
--JavaRanch

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