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The Invisible Computer: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  11 reviews
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 Donald Norman, and companies and their products must change as they pass from youth to maturity. Alas, the computer
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 18th 1999 by MIT Press (first published 1998)
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 ·  237 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Start your review of The Invisible Computer: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution
Luboš
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
----quote---
And guess what the most effective protest method is? Incisting on following procedures.

If you have to add a sign that says push or pull, then this indicates that the door is not as simple as is possible; its design is faulty.
Alex Railean
If you've read other works by Donald Norman, some parts of this book will already be familiar to you; the new stuff starts in chapter 9. Either way, this was an interesting read, especially his predictions of the future made ~20 years ago.
Mark Dunn
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it
This book, written by the same author as "The Design of Everyday Things", is a really interesting look at computers, software and human-centered design in the late 1990's.

The book is sub-titled "Why good products can fail, the personal computer is so complex, and information applicances are the solution.". This is a nice summary of the entire book.

Norman begins by looking at previous inventions, including the phonograph, and the initial versions failed despite the fact that this versions were
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kristen
May 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Even though this book is somewhat dated, i thought some of the "predictions" made were almost spot-on, while others were kind of weird and far-fetched, but i think that's all part of the creative process. excellent book on why/how computers are complicated, and how they need not be so. it also discusses ways that computer complications can be alleviated (through creating more "information appliances"). unfortunately, at a publish date of 1998, this book is a little out dated, but i think a lot ...more
Chris
Aug 27, 2010 added it
I wonder what Norman would've thought of the iPhone...
Invisible Computer is interesting more for Donald Norman's clear-headed analysis than his far-reaching predictions and conclusions about the future. The book doesn't tie its numerous threads together well, but there are smart insights sprinkled throughout.
Garrett
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great addition to The Design of Everyday Things as this one (obviously) talks about computers much more.

Interestingly, the iPhone, iPad, Androids, Kindle, Nook, and other specific technologies seem to be proving him right (at least in a general way).
Alain
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Beau geste!!!
Alan
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: computers
I always enjoy Norman's books. Have to say it's been awhile since I've read one or seen a new one. Just found TIC when unpacking.
Brendan  McAuliffe
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
out of date, not much useful info. ( other than ' affordments ' )
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Shelves: to-buy
A must read!
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Donald Arthur Norman is a professor emeritus of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego and a Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, where he also co-directs the dual degree MBA + Engineering degree program between the Kellogg school and Northwestern Engineering. Norman is on numerous company advisory boards, including the editorial board of Encyclopædia ...more