The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

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by Alan Cooper

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 the business executives who make the decisions to develop these products are not the ones in control of the technology used to create them. Insightful and entertaining, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum uses the author's experiences in corporate America to illustrate how talented people continuously design bad software-based products and why we need technology to work the way average people think. Somewhere out there is a happy medium that makes these types of products both user and bottom-line friendly; this book discusses why we need to quickly find that medium.

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In all other construction disciplines, engineers plan a construction strategy that craftmen execute. Engineers don't build bridges; ironworkers do. Only in software is the engineer tasked with actually building the product. Only in software is the "ironworker" tasked with determining how the product will be constructed.

— Alan Cooper, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum