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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Cooper hat die Situation erkannt & seine Rechnung geht auf..
Die meisten Revolutionen verliefen blutig. Auch heute, wo wir am Beginn einer Information Revolution, eines digitalen Zeitalters stehen scheint es Opfer zu geben. - Menschen, die mit den neuen supertollen Produkten einfach nicht zurecht kommen können. An und für sich ist es ja nicht verwunderlich, dass ein paar Softwareprodukte nicht besonders einfach bedienbar...
Am 16. September 2004 veröffentlicht

versus
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Where is the reality check?
Good read, just be cautious of the one sided slant to this book!
According to this book, the inmates are everywhere and as is the main premise of this book, they are in charge of not only shaping the asylum known as software design, but also our world. Cooper uses various anecdotal examples throughout the book to illustrate his ideas and views on technological...
Veröffentlicht am 24. Februar 2000 von Victoria R. Thompson


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4.0 von 5 Sternen Cooper hat die Situation erkannt & seine Rechnung geht auf.., 16. September 2004
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Die meisten Revolutionen verliefen blutig. Auch heute, wo wir am Beginn einer Information Revolution, eines digitalen Zeitalters stehen scheint es Opfer zu geben. - Menschen, die mit den neuen supertollen Produkten einfach nicht zurecht kommen können. An und für sich ist es ja nicht verwunderlich, dass ein paar Softwareprodukte nicht besonders einfach bedienbar sind, seltsam ist nur, dass es heutzutage die große Masse der Programme ist, die einem das leben schwer macht.
"Bill Gates once observed, with uncharacteristic cynicism, that the way you made software user- friendly was by making a rubber stamp and stamping each box with the legend "USER FRIENDLY." Unintentionally, his method has become the computer industry's real method."
Alan Cooper hat erkannt, wie man die Situation verbessern könnte. Nicht, indem man ein weiteres Buch für die paar Interface Designer schreibt, die sich der Tragödie ohnehin bewusst sind, sondern eines, das sich an diejenigen richtet, die das Sagen haben. "The Inmates are Running the Asylum" ist das erste Buch über User Interface- Design, oder wie es Cooper nennt "Interaction Design", für alle, die noch nie damit zu tun hatten.
Die Rechnung geht auf: "The Inmates are Running the Asylum" ist ein hervorragender Einblick in die Welt des Software Designs allgemein und die des User Interface Designs im Besonderen. Es erklärt ausführlich, was an den bisher üblichen Abläufen der Softwareentwicklung falsch ist und wie einfach man diese verbessern könnte. Darüber hinaus führt es gut in die Cooper'sche Methode des "Goal Directed Designs"* ein und zeigt, wie falsch es eigentlich ist, Programme für "Den User" zu entwerfen. Cooper bringt immer wieder exzellente Beispiele unter anderem gibt er einen kleinen Einblick wie chaotisch die Produktentwicklung bei Microsoft abläuft. (Er ist quasi der "Erfinder" von Visual Basic)
Die wichtigsten Feststellungen des Buches:
# Design must be done before programming.
# Let interaction designers do the designing, let programmers do the programming.
# The only thing more expensive than writing software is writing bad software.
# Design for just one person.
# Design for the user's goals, not for specific tasks.
Ich bin sehr froh, dass ich das Buch gelesen habe und möchte jedem, der in irgendeiner Form vor hat, etwas im Bereich der Softwareentwicklung zu erreichen, dasselbe raten: Lest dieses Buch! Es gibt aber eine Sache, die mir negativ daran aufgefallen ist. Abgesehen davon, dass sich Cooper schon ein paar mal wiederholt, was aber nichts ausmacht, ist die Art, wie er über Programmierer schreibt, schon etwas verwunderlich. In einigen Kapiteln hat es fast den Anschein, Programmierer wären keine Menschen. Da helfen beschwichtigende Sätze, die zeigen, wie er es (hoffentlich) eigentlich meint auch nicht wirklich. Manchmal artet das dann sogar in so lächerlichen "Wir gegen die Programmierer" - Phrasen aus. Schade, denn der eigentliche Weg, zu guter Software zu gelangen besteht letztlich immer in einer guten und kooperativen Zusammenarbeit zwischen der Entwicklungsabteilung und der Design - Abteilung.
Wie gesagt, abgesehen davon ist dieses gut geschriebene, allgemein verständliche und amüsante Buch einfach rundum empfehlenswert.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Where is the reality check?, 24. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Good read, just be cautious of the one sided slant to this book!
According to this book, the inmates are everywhere and as is the main premise of this book, they are in charge of not only shaping the asylum known as software design, but also our world. Cooper uses various anecdotal examples throughout the book to illustrate his ideas and views on technological design. Focusing entirely on how it has run amuck. Many of the examples are painfully obvious and basic.
While points are well made and key to adding to ones thought process about designing software and better ways to bring product to market. Cooper misses the boat with regards to some of the realities of business. I found Cooper's ideas a little too idealistic with little suggestion in terms of comprimise or strategic change.
Methodology also seems to be off as book is all general impression based on observation and personal experience.
Finally, If you are looking for a reminder about good common sense and a prompt on how to make your customer king, you'll find this a helpful read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Pflichtlektüre für Software-Entwickler, 9. Januar 2002
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Alan Cooper vermittelt dem Leser hier wieder den Blick für das Wesentliche. Obwohl der "Vater von Visual Basic" eigentlich die Engstirnigkeit heutiger Software-Entwickler und Produktmanager ankreidet, gelingt es ihm an vielen Beispielen aus dem täglichen Umfeld (Radiowecker, Videorekorder etc.) zu zeigen, was mit heutigen High-Tech Produkten nicht stimmt. Er zeigt einen praktikablen Weg, Software bedienbar zu machen.
Dieses Buch ist ein Muß für alle, die mit der Software-Entwicklung zu tun haben.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Misguided, 1. Mai 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Although the goal, usable software applications, is noble, Alan Cooper is misguided in placing the blame on the engineers.
Feature creep is often caused by business and marketing professionals, as they think piling on more features will make it the product more desirable.
Project plans and specifications are usually poorly planned, which leads directly to engineering problems. Perhaps the business/product management side of the story needs the work.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Useful ideas but infuriatingly arrogant, 15. Juli 2000
Von 
Ellen Isaacs (San Francisco Bay Area, CA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
The Inmates are Running the Asylum makes the business case for interaction designers playing a central role in the development of technology products. It starts by providing examples of technology that is difficult, frustrating, humiliating, and even dangerous to use. Cooper argues that, although people have gotten used to being humiliated by technology, it doesn't have to be this way. His claim is that most technology, especially software, is designed by engineers who think differently than non-technical people: they enjoy being challenged by difficult problems and they are trained to think in terms of "edge cases" rather than on the common case. Thus when engineers design software, they tend to create products with far too many neat features that clutter the interface and make it difficult to do the simpler tasks. In the second part of the book, Cooper describes an approach that he and his design firm uses to simplify products and keep them focused on the users' needs, eliminating or hiding more complex features that few people use. He gives some specific and compelling examples of how they took a different approach to an interesting design problem and keep the product simple while still being powerful. He makes the case that you can grab a market with powerful, feature-rich, complex software that is frustrating to use, but you don't build customer loyalty that way; as soon as a well-designed version of that product comes along, your customers will defect. If you delight the user with your products, on the other hand, you will engender deep loyalty that will help see you through some poor business decisions. His primary example of this is the fanatical loyalty that Apple garners from its users, compared with the rage that Windows users feel toward Microsoft. Apple has weathered some horrendous business decisions and still survives, whereas Microsoft users are more than happy to defect when a better product comes along, and in fact revel in the defection.
I also don't think he makes it clear enough that he's not proposing doing *fewer* features to make products simpler and easier to use, he's talking about doing *different* features. For example, he argues that software should not be so lazy; it should stop making the user do work that the computer is better suited to doing (e.g. remembering where they put files), and it should stop making users go through the same steps over and over again, as if it were the first time they had ever met this user. He argues that "Do you really mean it?" popups are evil (and I couldn't agree more - as most of my coworkers know), and instead it should be easy to undo anything, so it's not so catastrophic to do something you didn't meant to do. I agree with all that, but of course building a reasonable "undo" mechanism is a very complex feature. To cure the "How could you possibly want to quit my ever-so-important application?" popup syndrome, it would be much better to make the software very fast to start up, and to have it come back in exactly the state you left it in, so that quitting when you didn't mean to is not a problem. All of this is well worth doing, but it is lots of engineering work; it's another feature. I'm all for shifting engineer resources to these features instead of the "but somebody *might* want to do this obscure thing" features, but it should be clear that this is not doing fewer features, it's doing different ones, ones that help smooth the user's interaction with the software. Cooper seems to imply that engineers are so lazy that they don't want to do these features, but most engineers work very hard and care about their product. The key is to make it clear why doing this feature right will make such a big difference to the product. My experience has been that the more you understand the work involved in doing a feature, the better you can work with engineers. Not only can you better trade off engineering effort for user benefit, but engineers respect you for understanding what you're asking.
Having said all that, I can't deny that I finished this book with some very specific ideas about improving my own designs, and a renewed sense of the importance of what I do. I just wish Cooper could have articulated the case without putting interaction designers "on a throne."
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Great Ideas, Not Always Well Presented, 3. Juli 2000
Von 
Brian Curtis (Johns Creek, GA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
The culture of software development is changing, but grudgingly. The short-sighted notion "It's better to be first with something bad than second with something perfect" has been discredited after too long a reign as the New Paradigm of the Information Age ("It's brilliant because it's counter-intuitive!"), and instead has been exposed for what it is: bad business and a lousy way to treat customers. Alan Cooper's book helps make sense of things as software developers, after decades of coding for each other, are forced to begin acknowledging the cold and strange outside world of Real Life Users.
Cooper's writing is generally clear and easy to follow. He documents his points well and uses numerous true-to-life examples to illustrate the concepts. The ATM analysis, for example, is both effective and memorabl: Why DOES the ATM list account types you don't have, permitting an invalid selection? Why can't you return to a previous screen to correct mistakes, instead of starting over from scratch? Why doesn't the system give you an error message that helps you understand the problem, rather than "Unable to complete transaction"? No one even bothers to ask these questions, Cooper points out, because we've accepted the default structure of ATM screens--which were created for the convenience of coders and system engineers, rather than users.
Cooper also performs a valuable service in demolishing that old standby programmers' excuse: "We don't call any of the shots-it's all management's fault!" Bull. Half the managers in the computer industry are former coders themselves (and laboring under an outmoded and faulty mental model of how software development must occur, by the way). The other half are so non-technical that they're at the mercy of the coders, who are free to decide which features are most important, which will take too long, and ultimately, which will or won't make the cut for the next release. Coders ARE driving this bus, if occasionally from the back seat, and they need to take responsibility for what they produce-and be humble enough to admit that an indispensable part of the development process (interface/interaction design) is beyond their abilities.
That said, Cooper's writing style itself is less than perfect. He presents many compelling case histories, but at times he seems to lean too heavily on insider stories, as if showing off his contacts and expertise in the industry. And, of course, Cooper is far too much in love with his "dancing bear" metaphor; long before you've reached the halfway point, you'll be muttering, "One page...just ONE page without a 'dancing bearware' reference, PLEASE! That's all I ask!"
But the messages and lessons in this book are too important to ignore. As Cooper tries to remind us, it is everyday users-not the power users, not even the "computer literate"-who are the core audience. They're the ones you have to design for: a successful interaction design, rather than a burgeoning list of clever features, is what will determine your product's success or failure.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Important Lessons Still To Be Learned by Developers, 26. Juni 2000
Von 
Brian Curtis (Johns Creek, GA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
The culture of software development is changing, but grudgingly. The insane notion "It's better to be first with something bad than second with something perfect" has been discredited after too long a reign as the New Paradigm of the Information Age ("It's brilliant because it's counter-intuitive!"), and instead has been exposed for what it is: bad business and a lousy way to treat customers. Cooper's book helps make sense of things as software developers, after decades of coding for each other, are forced to begin acknowledging the cold and strange outside world of Real Life Users.
Cooper's writing is generally clear and easy to follow. He documents his points well and uses numerous true-to-life examples to illustrate the concepts. The ATM analysis, for example, is memorable and effective; millions of us have learned, adapted to, and continued to use ATMs without the slightest recognition of their failures in user interface design. Why DOES the ATM list account types you don't have, permitting an invalid selection? Why can't you return to a previous screen to correct mistakes, instead of starting over from scratch? Why doesn't the system give you an error message that helps you understand the problem, rather than "Unable to complete transaction"? These are questions no one bothers to ask, because everyone has accepted the default structure of ATM screens--which were created for the convenience of coders and system engineers, not users.
"Computer literacy" is another important concept that too many developers are looking at from exactly the wrong direction. Instead of complaining that not enough users take the time to learn and understand the basics of computers, we should be improving and simplifying computers to the point where they don't have to. "Users aren't reading the manual" is not a valid complaint, it's a simple fact of life that developers-not users-are responsible for working around. Your job is not to get users to read the manual; it's to design an application that doesn't need one.
This is an important concept, and the perception of users in the software development culture must change in order to address it properly. Anyone who sneeringly refers to simplifying and improving the user interaction as "dumbing down" illustrates how completely he has fallen victim to one of the core fallacies of programming: the "user as idiot" image. You may prefer to design for clean, logical hardware requirements, but your project is doomed to failure unless you bring in someone willing to take on the messy, nasty, error-prone real world of genuine user interests, behaviors, and preferences. And for the most part, programmers are not qualified to do that.
The book also does a valuable service in demolishing that old standby programmers' excuse: "We don't call any of the shots-it's all management's fault!" Bull. Half the managers in the computer industry are former coders themselves (and laboring under an outmoded and faulty mental model of how software development must occur, by the way). The other half are so non-technical that they're at the mercy of the coders, who are free to decide which features are most important, which will take too long, and ultimately, which will or won't make the cut for the next release. Coders ARE driving this bus, if occasionally from the back seat, and they need to take responsibility for what they produce-and be humble enough to admit that an indispensable part of the development process (interface/interaction design) is beyond their abilities.
That said, Cooper's writing style itself is less than perfect. He presents many compelling case histories, but at times he seems to lean too heavily on insider stories, as if showing off his contacts and expertise in the industry. And, of course, Cooper is far too much in love with his "dancing bear" metaphor; long before you've reached the halfway point, you'll be muttering, "One page...just ONE page without a 'dancing bearware' reference, PLEASE! That's all I ask!"
But the messages and lessons in this book are too important to ignore. The problem is, too many hardcore programmers take pride in the arcane complexity of their work, and the "elegance" of the solutions they devise; they are unwilling to accept the simple reality that USERS DON'T CARE. They never have cared, they never will care, and like it or not, THEY-not the power users, not even the "computer literate"-are your core audience. They're the ones you have to design for: a successful interaction design, rather than a burgeoning list of clever features, is what will determine your product's success or failure.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Blame it on Cognitive Friction, 27. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Alan Cooper makes the case for goal-directed interactive software design in his provocative book, The Inmates are Running the Asylum. He argues that though it would seem common sense, few software-based computer products are designed with the end-user in mind prior to their construction. Instead, they are all too often feature-laden "dancing bearware" that may impress the inexperienced, but infuriate them as well. Cooper suggests that software engineers are to blame for this phenomenon, identifies several examples of ill-conceived software engineering, and offers design specifications to ameliorate the problem.
The real culprits in Cooper's book are the programmers and engineers who design products to work their way as opposed to the best way. Cooper argues that the approach that companies take in creating technological products is backward. They do not consider what customers want first. Rather, they consider what programmers can produce (what's capable) and what business people can sell (what's viable), rather than what customers want and need (what's desirable).
Examples abound throughout the book illustrating the frustrating results of such backward engineering. These vary from the tragic to the mundane. The first page of the book details a fatal plane crash which could have been prevented had the pilot's computer been programmed to account for human error in navigational commands. Later in the book, Cooper proposes simplified VCR design that would eliminate universal frustration with programming one's VCR, not to mention eliminate the ubiquitous flashing 12:00!
Clearly airplane accidents, if not VCR ineffectuality, concern most people. How can computer manufacturers design the most desirable products to avoid such public danger or distress? Cooper outlines specifications that require goal-directed design and end-user orientation. Software engineers typically design programs to accomplish tasks, e.g. the aforementioned navigational computer was programmed to direct the plane where the pilot commanded it. That was its task.
Unfortunately, the pilot commanded it to fly into a granite mountain. Had the computer been goal-directed designed, i.e. programmed to direct the plane where the pilot commands it, given that such directions do not result in a collision, tragedy would have been avoided. The latter case illustrates end-user orientation, for it allows for pilot fatigue, emotion, latitudinal unfamiliarity, or oversight, any of which may occur on a given flight.
Cooper's call for goal-directed design and end-user orientation of software-based computer products is compelling and seemingly common sense. Overall the book is well written and includes memorable examples and convincing arguments. One less cogent claim, however, is Cooper's suggestion that technology apologists will play an important part in affecting change toward goal-directed interactive software design. I assert that change must come from within the programming and engineering ranks. Apologists, by definition, are not cohesive or likely to take a stand against that which they're apologizing for. This is like asking an enabler to seek help for an alcoholic. It is not going to happen. The software engineers must lay down their addiction to bells and whistles, tasks and tortuous interfaces, and see through the eyes of the end-user: you, me, and the other 98% of the world with flashing 12:00s on our VCRs.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen The Inmates Are Running The Asylum : A Review, 5. März 2000
Von 
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Alan Cooper, author, is a veteran software designer. He is focusing his current practice in an area he calls "interaction design". His book, "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum", describes his belief in the need for the inclusion of "interaction design" in the software development process. Cooper campaigns for interaction design to be adopted by software development companies as a way of creating customer satisfaction in software based products.
This book is presented in five parts. Parts I and II, "Computer Obliteracy" and "It costs You Big Time" describe the difficulties encountered by the average consumer when using software driven devices. Several creative terms are introduced that are developed throughout the book. These terms include "cognitive friction", "apologists", and "survivors". Part III, "Eating Soup With a Fork", describes the current process of software development. Cooper characterizes most software companies as having hierarchical structure and control. Despite company architecture, Cooper alleges that these companies are ultimately controlled by programmers who code the software. Hence the title, "The Inmates (programmers) Are Running The Asylum". Part IV, "Interaction Design Is Good Business", describes "interaction design". This rather new discipline is put forth by Cooper as the way to save the U.S. software industry dominance. Later in Part V, "Getting Back Into The Driver's Seat", the role of the interaction designer is more fully described throughout the stages of the software development process.
Cooper acknowledges that incorporating "interaction design" in the software development process will necessitate significant changes in the software companies. "Interaction design" inserts a design phase at the beginning of the development process long before programmers begin their coding. The design team works with all of the stakeholders who are involved in the project. Stakeholders include marketing, consumers, programmers, and executives. The designer takes the ultimate responsibility for the quality of the projects and acts as a "go between" among the stakeholder groups. The design team is given credibility and decision-making authority by the corporate executives. Success using this process is enhanced when all stakeholders have a common vision for the project. The corporate culture is changed when interaction designers are given responsibility for everything that comes in contact with the consumer. Cooper validates his beliefs by showing how "interaction design" as a part of the process of creating software will save a company time and money while developing products that will be friendly to the consumers.
As a novice in the area of software design, I enjoyed hearing an insiders point of view of this specialized business. The interaction designer is presented as the consumers voice in a process of product development. I agree with Cooper that this voice is needed since most products that we use have digital coding somehow embedded in their operation.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Cognitive Friction and Dancing Bears, 26. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Alan Cooper does a good job of explaining why we experience difficulty and frustration when we operate a computer or device with a microchip or computer program built in. He describe this problem as "cognitive friction", the resistance encountered by a human intellect when it engages with a complex system of rules that change as the problem permutes (19-20).
The theme of this book is that interactive products need to be designed by interaction designers instead of by software engineers, the inmates who run the asylum (21). Cooper prefers using the term "interaction design" over the term "interface design" so that programmers and software companies take more responsibility in placing design at the forefront of the planning stages. He defines interaction design as the selection of behavior, function, and information and their presentation to users, end product design being the part he wishes to take from programmers and put into the hands of dedicated interaction designers (22).
Cooper describes two types of computer users, apologists and survivors. He defines apologists as those who fight their way through program design and interaction making excuses for the programmers. These people are generally computer literate. Survivors do not think of computers as being simple to use and make up about 90% of those who use computers.
Cooper proposes that companies not rush to put products on shelves, that programmers not test their own code, that corporate managers take a more active role in understanding how people will effectively use their products, to throw prototypes of existing code away and build from scratch with the end user and interface in mind, and to incorporate interaction design before programming starts.
The book is an interesting behind-the-scenes look at what takes place in the software industry. For those of us, really everyone who has used a computer or electronic product, consumers who have become frustrated at "dancing bear" products and who simply wish to turn on their VCR to record the Super Bowl or use the computer to send e-mail, the book is a comforting piece of knowledge in realizing that we are not the problem.
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