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The Inmates Are Running the Asylum (Review and Analysis of Cooper's Book)
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The must-read summary of Alan Cooper's book: "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity".

This complete summary of the ideas from Alan Cooper's book "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum" shows that computer technology is embedded within almost every product that is manufactured. Yet all too often, these ''new-and-improved’’ 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 man-on-the-street 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 need to be developed that work in the same way that average people think. 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. This summary asserts that the goal of computer usage should be "not to make anyone feel stupid". 

Added-value of this summary: 
• Save time
• Understand the key concepts 
• Increase your business knowledge

To learn more, read "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum" and rethink entrenched priorities in software planning.
Published: Primento on
ISBN: 9782806233646
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Book Presentation: The Inmates Are Running The Asylum by Alan Cooper

Summary of The Inmates Are Running The Asylum (Alan Cooper)

Book Abstract

Main Idea

Computer technology is rapidly in the process of being embedded within almost every product that is manufactured. Yet all too often, these new-and-improved products are harder to use than their non-intelligent predecessors - because engineers rather than designers are developing the interface between the user and the machine. And engineers don’t think at all like the average man-on-the-street who knows nothing about technology. Therefore, the situation effectively becomes the equivalent of letting the inmates run the asylum in which they are incarcerated.

Instead of expecting the user to learn how to use the product, the situation needs to be reversed. Better products need to be developed which work the same way average people think. Only then will new products deliver on their implied promise of enhancing the quality of life for their users.

Those kinds of changes will only occur in the real world if responsibility for designing the interface between the user and the machine is transferred away from engineers and into the hands of designers who are skilled in this specific field.

About the Author

ALAN COOPER is the founder of Cooper Interaction Design, a West Coast consulting firm that develops interactive product designs for high-tech companies. Mr. Cooper has more than 20-years’ experience designing and developing consumer software products, and is widely acknowledged as the Father of Virtual Basic for which he received the rare and coveted Windows