Book Review: Ambient Findability

In “Ambient Findability” (O’Reilly, US $29.95), Peter Morville searches for the answers in the strange connections between social software, semantic webs, evolutionary psychology, and interaction design. And, he explains how the journey from push to pull is changing not only the rules of marketing and design, but also the nature of authority and the destination of our culture.
Intelligence is moving to the edges, flowing through
wireless devices, empowered individuals, and distributed teams. Ideas are
spreading like wildfire, and information is in the air, literally. And
yet, with the profusion of instantly accessible information, we still
experience disorientation. We still wander off the map. How do we make
decisions in the information age? How do we know enough to ask the right
questions? How do we find the best product, the right person, the data
that makes a difference?
“Findability is at the center of a quiet revolution that’s changing who we
trust, how we work, where we go, and what we want. And yet nobody’s
talking about it because they don’t want to see the big picture,” says
Morville. “This book is my attempt to connect the dots and provoke
discussion about how the Internet and ubiquitous computing are
transforming business, education, and culture.”
Thought-provoking and insightful, “Ambient Findability” will be of
interest to any “user experience professionals” who design, build, and
manage web sites and interactive products. But the book will also hold
appeal for anyone interested in the future of architecture, business,
communication, education, design, literacy, marketing, and other areas of
work touched by the information age.
“I also hope the book will have an impact on what Brian Eno calls the ‘Big
Here and the Long Now.’ I hope it will change how people thing about the
world we are creating,” says Morville. “These technologies will have
profound social impact. They’re already changing when we work, where we
go, who we trust, and how we make decisions. I hope the book helps people
anticipate the many possible futures that exist today, so we can more
consciously and collectively shape the future we want.”