The Invisible Computer
Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution
320 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: September 1, 1998
- Published: August 18, 1999
From "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms" (motto of the 1933 Chicago USA World's Fair)—to "People Propose, Science Studies, Technology Conforms" (Donald Norman's person-centered motto for the twenty-first centuray).
Technologies have a life cycle, says Don Norman, and companies and their products must change as they pass from youth to maturity. Alas, the computer industry thinks it is still in its rebellious teenage years, exulting in technical complexity. Customers want change. They are ready for products that offer convenience, ease of use, and pleasure. The technology should be invisible, hidden from sight.
In this book, Norman shows why the computer is so difficult to use and why this complexity is fundamental to its nature. The only answer, says Norman, is to start over again, to develop information appliances that fit people's needs and lives. To do this companies must change the way they develop products. They need to start with an understanding of people: user needs first, technology last—the opposite of how things are done now.
Don Norman's dramatic transformation from design critic to digital designer has made his observations in The Invisible Computer even more insightful and inciteful.
Michael Schrage, Research Associate, MIT Media Lab, and authorof Getting Real
Don Norman has established himself as high technology's leading thinker on user interfaces and on why PCs are too complex.
Wall Street Journal
...the bible of 'post-PC' thinking.