Designing Media - Introduction

Designing Media, a Book, DVD and Website from The MIT Press

I was working on Designing Media for a couple of years while I was still at IDEO, before coming to the Cooper-Hewitt. It’s a partner volume to my first book Designing Interactions in that it combines the book with a DVD and a website, www.designing-media.com. There are thirty-one interview segments recorded on high-definition video, with the transcripts used to form the foundation of the text. I have edited the videos into shortened versions of highlights and examples, to fit on the accompanying DVD.

A DVD in the Back of the Book

Each of the chapters in the book opens with a discussion of the topic and is followed by the interviews. Each person is introduced with a photograph and a resume. The interviews are mixtures of stories and ideas and include direct quotes. I have tried to reflect the perspectives of those interviewed, writing the text to help the flow of the ideas and using the quotes to reveal the personality of each individual.

Some of the text is set in blue. The color indicates that I have written that section in my own voice, expressing my personal opinions rather than those of the people interviewed. The blue sections include a commentary at the end of each chapter, and a short introduction before each interview segment recounting an anecdote about the interview process. The material on the DVD and PDFs of the six chapters are available to download for free from the website, with a “ShareThis” feature giving access to Social Media.

“ShareThis” Feature

What’s happening to books, magazines, newspapers, television, and radio? The information revolution is in full swing, with digital versions of mainstream media taking hold and changing everything! Um … but are they really changing everything, or are some traditional media here to stay? How are the new Internet entrepreneurs designing their offerings? Is it possible to thrive in both worlds, working happily in traditional and virtual media? Does content need to be designed differently for each medium, or can it be easily transferred without changes? I embarked on this book because I wanted to know the answers to these questions, and I thought, “What better way to discover the answers than to ask thirty or forty experts?”

I’ll put up a series of blog posts to tell you more about the interviews in the book and the lessons that they taught me.