Summary: The Inmates Are Running The Asylum  Alan Cooper, Must Read Summaries
Must Read Summaries

Summary: The Inmates Are Running The Asylum Alan Cooper

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This work offers a summary of the book “THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM: Why HighTech Products Drive Us Crazy and How To Restore the Sanity” by Alan Cooper.

Alan Cooper is the founder of Cooper Interaction Design, a consulting firm that develops interactive product designs for hightech companies.

Computer technology is embedded within almost every product that is manufactured. Yet all too often, these ''newandimproved'' products are hard to use because the engineers who are developing the interface between the user and the machine don't think like the average manonthestreet who knows nothing about technology. Therefore, the situation effectively becomes the equivalent of letting the inmates run the asylum in which they are incarcerated.

Better products which work the same way average people think need to be developed. Only then will new products deliver on their implied promise of enhancing the quality of life for their users. According to Alan Cooper, designers who are skilled in this specific field should be responsible for designing the interface between the user and the machine.

In The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, Alan Cooper asserts that the goal of computer usage should be “not to make anyone feel stupid.” This wellwritten book makes us rethink entrenched priorities in software planning.
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Developers now face a choice between developing an interface that is far more natural and intuitive -- thereby disenfranchising those who learned the old, hard way -- or developing something that is far more natural
Software engineers think and behave differently from normal human beings in four ways:
They trade simplicity for control. • They trade success for understanding.
They trade what is possible for what is probable. • They act like high school ‘‘jocks’’.
‘‘You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that caused it.’’
--Albert Einstein
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