Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross Channel User Experiences Andrea Resmini & Luca Rosati
The jury is still out on whether this is a brilliant book or not, but there is no doubt it is a very different one. The authors are Italian IA practitioners and academics, trying to give us principles to deal with cross channel experiences. These are experiences where multiple channels are needed to fulfil a user`s needs, for example, seeing a TV ad for a product, doing product reviews, checking availability locally, and picking the product up at a store. How can we design the set of touch points so that they hang together as a recognizable coherent experience.
The authors are trying to give us a vocabulary to do this. They compare the task with the evolving languages of urban design and film, and the ability of the inhabitants of cities and audiences of films to understand new constructs.
We are not there yet. The authors give hints and concepts from many disciplines, such as placemaking, wayfinding, designing services, and the psychology of creating categorization schemes. Some of these yielded nuggets upon deep reflection, others not at all.
This is definitely not a how-to book, but if you have an intellectual streak, you might enjoy some of the glimpses of what the discipline might contain.
One other thing. As far as your reading experience is concerned, be warned. The book is a mix of stories, theoretical concepts, guest contibutions, lovely illustrations, with the authors not in the background at all, but decidedly mugging for the audience, with wayfinding sometimes a bit difficult, and relevence often not obvious.
So, brilliant or not? You decide.