Systems Reading List

In the spring I will be teaching the Systems class at CCA for the third time. I will be integrating systems which covers systems, mapping, information architecture with social interface design thinking as well since so much of developing a social design with reputation, identity, privacy, engagement and activities is essentially systems thinking. So while the mechanics are going to be basic systems, the perspective and content will be social interface focused. Additionally, there is a section on wayfinding and deeper dives into Information – IA, data modeling and content modeling.

Here is the reading list (google doc) that I have evolved over the last three years.

Systems Course Readings

There will be readings assigned during the class from books and articles. The following resources are potential readings and good additions to your library.

Thinking with Systems: A Primer
Donella Meadows

How to Make Sense of Any Mess
Abby Covert
This book is available 100% as an online website at:

Other readings will be assigned during the course as appropriate to the topic being discussed.

OTHER BOOKS & ARTICLES that may be assigned

The Systems Thinker, ch 3,4, 6, 7
Albert Rutherford

Think In Systems
Zoe McKey

Tools for Systems Thinkers – 12 Archetypes

Systems Thinker

Systems and Us

Using Mapping to Scope a System

Waters Foundation

The Fifth Discipline, Chapter 3
Peter Senge

Mapping Experiences, Chapters 2, 3, 11, 13
James Kalbach

Systems Thinking for Social Change, Chapter 4
David Stroh

Ambient Findability, Chapter 2
Peter Morville

Mind mapping
Rolf Faste

Ultimate book of Mind Maps, ch 1, 4
Tony Buzan

Wayfinding Handbook, ch 2.2, 3
David Gibson

3 Placemaking Lessons from the Magic Kingdom by Jorge Arango

The History of Information Architecture by Andreas Resmini

The System of Information Architecture
Peter Morville
Journal of Information Architecture

Designing Social Interfaces, Chapters 1, 2, 4, 14
Erin Malone and Christian Crumlish

Neighborhoods and Subcultures in Social Design; Welcome Area; Who You Are Versus Who You Present Yourself to Be Online
Erin Malone

Anti-social media, Introduction
Siva Vaidhyanathan

Tripartite Identity
Randall F Farmer

The Production of Reality: Essays and Readings on Social Interaction, ch. 10
Edited by Jodi O’Brien
Essay – Metaphors We Live By
George Lakoff & Mark Johnson

Pixels And Place, Chapter 8
Kate O’Neill

Grouped, ch 2 & 3
Paul Adams

Some Obvious Things About Internet Reputation Systems
Tom Slee

Web Reputation Systems in the Real World
Randy Farmer

15 Ways to Change Behavior – BJ Fogg

Systems games + other games we play
Systems Thinking Design Pack – exercises for the classroom
Institute of Play

Games and exercises for the classroom
Creative Learning Exchange

Pandemic, Forbidden Island & Forbidden Desert
by Matt Leacock

Social Mania
by Erin Malone & Christian Crumlish

Systems Class Videos – a series of how-to’s and explainers

The Invisible Gorilla

TED Talk Make Data More Human

current: experience matters design :: senior level interaction design and systems strategy consulting former partner, tangible user experience; Yahoo! founder of the public and internal Yahoo! pattern library. design director of ued teams responsible for designing solutions across key yahoo! platforms: social media, personalization, membership and vertical search.