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Book Review: Subject to Change

Subject to Change cover

Underwhelmed.

We’ve all had this reaction when encountering a product or service that just didn’t cut it.

Take, for example, the alarm clock next to my bed. There are two alarm switches side by side: one for me, and one for my wife. Invariably, every morning I hit the wrong switch and the alarm keeps sounding. By the time I’ve shut the thing down, my wife is wide awake. And she goes to work two hours after me...

I kept thinking about my alarm clock while I was reading the all-too-brief Subject to Change: Creating Great Products and Services for an Uncertain World. This book was penned by three current Adaptive Path employees, including their president Peter Merholz, and their emeritus director of technology, David Verba.

Adaptive Path (AP) is well known as one of the global leaders in providing product experience strategy and design services. As part of their overall business strategy, AP provides training and events to help educate designers, managers of design, and business executives on many of the topics of discussion in Subject to Change.

I have read and loved most of the other books written by AP staffers, such as The Elements of User Experience and Designing for Interaction. They have been formative, in every sense of the word.

So why am I comparing this book to my alarm clock?

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