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

ISBN-10: 0672326140
ISBN-13: 9780672326141
Edition: 2nd 2004 (Revised)
Authors: Alan Cooper
List price: $39.99 Buy it from $5.62 Rent it from $17.27
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.99
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 2/24/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.10" wide x 9.20" long x 0.80" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

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, despite appearances, business executives are simply not the ones in control of the high-tech industry. They have inadvertently put programmers and engineers in charge, leading to products and processes that waste money, squander customer loyalty, and erode competitive advantage. Business executives have let the inmates run the asylum! In his book The Inmates Are Running the Asylum Alan Cooper calls for revolution - we need technology to work in the same way average people think - we need to restore the sanity. He offers a provocative, insightful and entertaining explanation of how talented people continuously design bad software-based products. More importantly, he uses his own work with companies big and small to show how to harness those talents to create products that will both thrill their users and grow the bottom line.

Alan Cooper is a Professor of Biophysical Chemistry in the Chemistry Department at Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK. After obtaining a first class honours degree in physics from Manchester University, he gained a diploma for Advanced Studies in Science (with Distinction) on the calculation of dispersion forces and optical properties of helical polynucleotides and a PhD in Biophysics on the thermodynamics of assembly and stability of collagen - both from Manchester University. Since then he has been a SRC Research Fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Oxford University and a Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford as well as a NIH Research Fellow on the Pathology of Membranes Training Program in the department of Chemistry, Yale University, USA, before his return to Glasgow University as a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, then Senior Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor. Until 2009, he was the Principal Editor of the Biophysical Chemistry journal and is on the Editorial boards of the European Biophysics Journal, Journal of the Iranian Chemical Society and BMC Biochemistry. He is an external assessor for various European universities and a member of the Molecular Biosciences Foresight Working Party, the ESF Working Party on post-genome biophysical studies and is on the management committee of COST D22 protein-lipid interaction. His research interests include biophysical chemistry, microcalorimetry; thermodynamics of protein folding, misfolding, aggregation and interactions; biomaterials chemistry, protein foams, nematode polyproteins; peptide-antibiotic interactions, and he has also had over 150 full papers published.

Foreword
Computer Obliteracy
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
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
It Costs You Big Time
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
The Dancing Bear
If It Were a Problem, Wouldn't It Have Been Solved by Now?
Consumer Electronics Victim
How Email Programs Fail
How Scheduling Programs Fail
How Calendar Software Fails
Mass Web Hysteria
What's Wrong with Software?
Software Forgets
Software Is Lazy
Software Is Parsimonious with Information
Software Is Inflexible
Software Blames Users
Software Won't Take Responsibility
Customer Disloyalty
Desirability
A Comparison
Time to Market
Eating Soup With a Fork
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
Driving from the Backseat
Hatching a Catastrophe
Computers Versus Humans
Teaching Dogs to Be Cats
Homo Logicus
The Jetway Test
The Psychology of Computer Programmers
Programmers Trade Simplicity for Control
Programmers Exchange Success for Understanding
Programmers Focus on What Is Possible to the Exclusion of What Is Probable
Programmers Act Like Jocks
An Obsolete Culture
The Culture of Programming
Reusing Code
The Common Culture
Programming Culture at Microsoft
Cultural Isolation
Skin in the Game
Scarcity Thinking
The Process Is Dehumanizing, Not the Technology
Interaction Design is Good Business
Designing for Pleasure
Personas
Design for Just One Person
The Roll-Aboard Suitcase and Sticky Notes
The Elastic User
Be Specific
Hypothetical
Precision, Not Accuracy
A Realistic Look at Skill Levels
Personas End Feature Debates
Both Designers and Programmers Need Personas
It's a User Persona, Not a Buyer Persona
The Cast of Characters
Primary Personas
Case Study: Sony Trans Com's P@ssport
The Conventional Solution
Personas
Designing for Clevis
Designing for Power
Goals Are the Reason Why We Perform Tasks
Tasks Are Not Goals
Programmers Do Task-Directed Design
Goal-Directed Design
Goal-Directed Television News
Goal-Directed Classroom Management
Personal and Practical Goals
The Principle of Commensurate Effort
Personal Goals
Corporate Goals
Practical Goals
False Goals
Computers Are Human, Too
Designing for Politeness
What Is Polite?
What Makes Software Polite?
Polite Software Is Interested in Me
Polite Software Is Deferential to Me
Polite Software Is Forthcoming
Polite Software Has Common

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