The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity

by Alan Cooper

Pearson Education | February 24, 2004 | Trade Paperback |

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Imagine, at a terrifyingly aggressive rate, everything you regularly use is being equipped with computer technology. Think about your phone, cameras, cars-everything-being automated and programmed by people who in their rush to accept the many benefits of the silicon chip, have abdicated their responsibility to make these products easy to use. The Inmates Are Running the Asylum argues that the business executives who make the decisions to develop these products are not the ones in control of the technology used to create them. Insightful and entertaining, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum uses the author''s experiences in corporate America to illustrate how talented people continuously design bad software-based products and why we need technology to work the way average people think. Somewhere out there is a happy medium that makes these types of products both user and bottom-line friendly; this book discusses why we need to quickly find that medium.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 0.39 in

Published: February 24, 2004

Publisher: Pearson Education

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0672326140

ISBN - 13: 9780672326141

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The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity

by Alan Cooper

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 0.39 in

Published: February 24, 2004

Publisher: Pearson Education

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0672326140

ISBN - 13: 9780672326141

Table of Contents

Foreword. I. COMPUTER OBLITERACY. 1. Riddles for the Information Age. What Do You Get When You Cross a Computer with an Airplane? What Do You Get When You Cross a Computer with a Camera? What Do You Get When You Cross a Computer with an Alarm Clock? What Do You Get When You Cross a Computer with a Car? What Do You Get When You Cross a Computer with a Bank? Computers Make It Easy to Get into Trouble. Commercial Software Suffers, Too. What Do You Get When You Cross a Computer with a Warship? Techno-Rage. An Industry in Denial. The Origins of This Book. 2. Cognitive Friction. Behavior Unconnected to Physical Forces. Design Is a Big Word. The Relationship Between Programmers and Designers. Most Software Is Designed by Accident. "Interaction" Versus "Interface" Design. Why Software-Based Products Are Different. The Dancing Bear. The Cost of Features. Apologists and Survivors. How We React to Cognitive Friction. The Democratization of Consumer Power. Blaming the User. Software Apartheid. II. IT COSTS YOU BIG TIME. 3. Wasting Money. Deadline Management. What Does "Done" Look Like? Parkinson''s Law. The Product That Never Ships. Shipping Late Doesn''t Hurt. Feature-List Bargaining. Programmers Are in Control. Features Are Not Necessarily Good. Iteration and the Myth of the Unpredictable Market. The Hidden Costs of Bad Software. The Only Thing More Expensive Than Writing Software Is Writing Bad Software. Opportunity Cost. The Cost of Prototyping. 4. The Dancing Bear. If It Were a Prob
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From the Publisher

Imagine, at a terrifyingly aggressive rate, everything you regularly use is being equipped with computer technology. Think about your phone, cameras, cars-everything-being automated and programmed by people who in their rush to accept the many benefits of the silicon chip, have abdicated their responsibility to make these products easy to use. The Inmates Are Running the Asylum argues that the business executives who make the decisions to develop these products are not the ones in control of the technology used to create them. Insightful and entertaining, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum uses the author''s experiences in corporate America to illustrate how talented people continuously design bad software-based products and why we need technology to work the way average people think. Somewhere out there is a happy medium that makes these types of products both user and bottom-line friendly; this book discusses why we need to quickly find that medium.

From the Jacket

Imagine, at a terrifyingly aggressive rate, everything you regularly use is being equipped with computer technology. Think about your phone, cameras, cars-everything-being automated and programmed by people who in their rush to accept the many benefits of the silicon chip, have abdicated their responsibility to make these products easy to use. The Inmates Are Running the Asylum argues that the business executives who make the decisions to develop these products are not the ones in control of the technology used to create them. Insightful and entertaining, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum uses the author''s experiences in corporate America to illustrate how talented people continuously design bad software-based products and why we need technology to work the way average people think. Somewhere out there is a happy medium that makes these types of products both user and bottom-line friendly; this book discusses why we need to quickly find that medium.

About the Author

As a software inventor in the mid-70s, Alan Cooper got it into his head that there must be a better approach to software construction. This new approach would free users from annoying, difficult and inappropriate software behavior by applying a design and engineering process that focuses on the user first and silicon second. Using this process, engineering teams could build better products faster by doing it right the first time. His determination paid off. In 1990 he founded Cooper, a technology product design firm. Today, Cooper''s innovative approach to software design is recognized as an industry standard. Over a decade after Cooper opened its doors for business, the San Francisco firm has provided innovative, user-focused solutions for companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Align Technologies, Discover Financial Services, Dolby, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Softek, Hewlett Packard, Informatica, IBM, Logitech, Merck-Medco, Microsoft, Overture, SAP, SHS Healthcare, Sony, Sun Microsystems, the Toro Company, Varian and VISA. The Cooper team offers training courses for the Goal-Directed® interaction design tools they have invented and perfected over the years, including the revolutionary technique for modeling and simulating users called personas, first introduced to the public in 1999 via the first edition of The Inmates . In 1994, Bill Gates presented Alan with a Windows Pioneer Award for his invention of the visual programming concept behind Visual Basic, and in 1998 Al
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