Inmates are Running the Asylum

Personal Goals for Users of Software
  • not feel stupid
  • not make mistakes
  • get an adequate amount of work done
  • have fun (or at least not be too bored)
Corporate Goals
  • increase profit
  • defeat competition
  • increase market share
  • hire more people
  • offer more products or services
  • go public
Practical Goals
  • avoid meetings
  • handle clients demands
  • record clients order
  • create numerical model of the business
False Goals (more concerned with tasks, features, and tools)
  • save money
  • save keystrokes
  • run in a browser
  • be easy to learn
  • safeguard data integrity
  • speed up data entry
  • increase program execution efficiency
  • use cool technology or features-increase graphic beauty
  • maintain consistency across the platform
What makes software polite?
  • interested in meetings
  • deferential
  • forthcoming
  • has common server
  • responsive
  • taciturn about its personal problems
  • well informal
  • perspective
  • self-confidant
  • stays focused
  • fudgable
  • gives instant gratification
  • trustworthy
Compare software production to making a movie. The movie industry spends a lot of time planning because they only have one chance to do it right. Proper planning cuts down on the development stage.
Hire/assign an interaction designer. Make them be the ultimate owner of product quality.
  • determine the content and behaviour of program-own the feature list and (to a large part) the schedule
  • this person is the advocate for the user
  • authority to control all external aspects of the product. They must design a feasible to build easy to use an attractive product that allows the user to achieve their practical goals while not violating their personal goals.

Bibliographical Information

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
Alan Cooper
SAMS : Indianapolis Indiana 1999

These are notes I made after reading this book. See more book notes

Just to let you know, this page was last updated Sunday, Jun 23 24