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User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play

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An alternate cover edition can be found here.

In User Friendly, Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant reveal the untold story of a paradigm that quietly rules our modern lives: the assumption that machines should anticipate what we need. Spanning over a century of sweeping changes, from women's rights to the Great Depression to World War II to the rise of the digital era, this book unpacks the ways in which the world has been--and continues to be--remade according to the principles of the once-obscure discipline of user-experience design.
In this essential text, Kuang and Fabricant map the hidden rules of the designed world and shed light on how those rules have caused our world to change--an underappreciated but essential history that's pieced together for the first time. Combining the expertise and insight of a leading journalist and a pioneering designer, User Friendly provides a definitive, thoughtful, and practical perspective on a topic that has rapidly gone from arcane to urgent to inescapable. In User Friendly, Kuang and Fabricant tell the whole story for the first time--and you'll never interact with technology the same way again.

416 pages, Hardcover

First published November 19, 2019

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Cliff Kuang

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 211 reviews
Profile Image for Peter Tillman.
3,413 reviews302 followers
December 16, 2021
The book opens with a recounting of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power-plant accident, where an initially small failure turned into a disaster that destroyed the plant -- because the control room was so poorly designed that the operators could never figure out what went wrong! The control room had 1100 dials and 600 alarms [!!], haphazardly laid out. The plant’s basic engineering was sound, and it was in the process of shutting itself down in the fail-safe response its designers had intended. Left alone, it would have shut down safely. But the operators, misunderstanding the problem, turned off the emergency cooling system. Result: a partial meltdown of the reactor core. Kuang recounted this history because monumental machine disasters are usually the result of design problems. A good way to introduce a design book, by showing what can go wrong with bad design.

The best review I saw online, and the one to read first:
https://www.core77.com/posts/91628/Yo...

From my notes: two African design students, who came up with the “Magic Bus” advance-ticketing scheme: buy advance tickets via SMS cell-phone messages, which circumvent a widespread developing-world problem: bus drivers rent their bus by the day from the owners, for a fixed daily fee. If they don’t make their “nut" for the day, they lose money. So they hang around the bus terminal, waiting for passengers, until they have enough to at least break even. Which is why the buses were always late in Nairobi….

And another spectacular “user-unfriendly” anecdote: My wife and I happened to shop in an East Palo Alto, Calif. Target store that apparently had a problem with their shopping-carts disappearing. So they added a little RFID cart-locking device, which somehow triggered itself and locked the wheels while we were shopping! I found a cart without the wheel lock, and transferred our stuff. Do you think we’ll shop at that store again? This is a poor(ish) suburb adjoining wealthy Palo Alto.

An exceptionally well-researched and well-written book. Recommended reading, especially for those interested in technology and design. 4.5 stars, rounded up.

Another first-rate review, at the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/bo...
Excerpt:
"User Friendly is a tour de force, an engrossing fusion of scholarly research, professional experience and revelations from intrepid firsthand reporting."
Profile Image for Todd.
160 reviews6 followers
December 8, 2019
Designs of physical products, online interactions, and real-world experiences is a lot more interesting and backed by an intriguing history than you may think. Most of us understand that things like Apple products have a lot of design built into them, but have we ever thought about the levels and varieties of design thinking that go into Disney theme parks, the radar system of a WWII-era battleship, the handle of a vegetable peeler, and the control room of a nuclear reactor? These are just a few of the examples that Kuang explores in this surprisingly captivating history behind the ideas of "user friendly" design. Kuang is at his best when detailing the implications of the unintuitive designs of physical large systems like nuclear power plants and the implications of frictionless interactions such as "1-Click" and "Like" buttons that now pervade our online lives. Perhaps the most surprisingly satisfying read of 2019 for me.
1 review1 follower
December 14, 2019
I have been a user experience designer for years and this book made so many things click into place. If you have any role in product design, this should be required reading.
Profile Image for Andrey Goder.
22 reviews7 followers
November 26, 2019
This book covers several disparate topics, which unfortunately were not combined in the most cohesive way. Part of it is a history of UX/design, which is interesting, but is not presented linearly which can make it hard to follow. My favorite part was the discussion of the development of industrial design of physical objects and how it significantly influenced digital design. Additionally it includes a description of more recent ideas in design, such as improvements in driver-assist technology in cars, design of smartphone apps, etc.

There was a long section in the middle that was basically soapboxing about the 'evils' of social media which felt really out of place. It didn't really have anything to do with design specifically (except in some very stretched way) and it seemed like the author just wanted to have a platform to insert these views. It really detracted from the flow of the book.

A lot of the more interesting ideas to me were actually not elaborated on significantly. I would have liked to read more about ideas for the future of design and how we can make it better (which was hinted at a little). There was an interesting section about making things easy to use having some downsides (worse understanding of the underlying system) but again this wasn't elaborated on very much. Overall, the book had a scattering of interesting ideas, so I did enjoy it in parts, but it really felt like it was lacking that cohesive whole to make it a truly great experience.
160 reviews3 followers
January 8, 2020
I have this five stars based on the number of Post Its I used and anecdotes I related to my husband. Great stories about why Three Mile Island melted, planes crash and Walt Disney. We take good design based on psychology for granted. After reading this book you will be more aware of how design affects you every day.
The chapter on self-driving cars is weak and dated. Maybe for the paperback version he can cut this chapter and replace it with one on the USS John McCain, which crashed due to poor design.
1 review
December 13, 2019
User Friendly is a super compelling look at the history and foundations of UX. I like how the story threads together many parts of that history-- as far back as WWII. I think we so often think of technology as this fast-paced thing that we can't ever hold on to or understand. User friendliness is something that will always be related to technology and so getting a moment to step back and learn its origins is really insightful. I like that for the most part that history is told with a human lens, looking at the designers behind the movement. All in all, a well-written and insightful read worth your time!
1 review
December 17, 2019
User friendly is well written, incredibly engaging, and should be required reading for individuals who seek to or currently practice user experience design. Because product design is ultimately a trade based discipline that in some sense accepts many other disciplines to it, one of its biggest missing pieces is a strong connection to the stories that built it, and a common narrative to bring it together. As the field of User Experience is still evolving rapidly, it makes the hidden stories of where we come from all the more important.
1 review
December 5, 2019
Fascinating book, very well written. The author does an excellent job of elucidating how design is so much more than aesthetics—it’s a sub-language, a user-guide built into everything we interact with. We rarely know to look at it, but our minds see it. A book rarely changes the way you see the world, but if you let it, this one can.
Profile Image for Jamie Smith.
471 reviews65 followers
October 5, 2022
“For men to perform better than machines, they didn’t need to be trained more; rather, the machine needed to be crafted around them so that they needed to be trained less. And so, whereas twenty years ago, buying a cutting-edge VCR or TV meant also getting a thick instruction manual with which to decipher all its newfangled capabilities, we now expect to be able to pick up some of the most complex machines ever made – our smartphones – and be able to do anything we want, without ever having been told how.” (p. 257)

When I saw this book at the library I wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to read. I am generally wary of business books, because they are so often filled with truisms and simplistic formulas for success. The fact that some management technique might have worked for one company is no guarantee that it will work for anyone else. I also remember a history professor who said that Thucydides has more insight into leadership, strategy, and human behavior than a whole bookcase of business books.

User Friendly is largely free of the usual business tropes. It is well researched and discusses both the history and current state of user-centric design, showing the benefits as well as some troubling implications. The chapter on how users can be manipulated with feedback loops is definitely worth reading. It quotes the designer Tristan Harris saying, “Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano.”

It was written by Cliff Kuang, although presumably Robert Fabricant had some editorial input. Fabricant seems to have written only the Afterword, which he says should not be seen as a checklist for user friendly design but then proceeds to do exactly that, giving eight steps for success. It doesn’t add much to Kuang’s efforts, so I was wondering if perhaps Fabricant is a big name in the industrial design field and the publishers felt that including him, even with just an Afterword that feels like an afterthought, would increase sales.

The book begins with an excellent account of the disaster at Three Mile Island on March 28th, 1979, when the reactor came within thirty minutes of a Chernobyl-style meltdown. The control room was an accident waiting to happen, haphazardly designed with no concept of information flow to help the engineers on duty understand what was happening. The root cause of the problem was a stuck relief valve with a float the size of a ping-pong ball. The status light for it was out of sight behind one of the consoles, but in any case it did not say what the men in the control room thought it said. It actually indicated that a signal to close the valve had been sent, not that the valve was actually closed, so steam continued to vent from the reactor, lowering its water level and raising its temperature. The men knew something was wrong, but could not figure out what was happening. “All told there are eleven hundred dials, gauges, and switch indicators, and more than six hundred warning lights. At this moment, it seems like every one of them is wailing. The room is buried in noise. Here, at a critical moment, the machine is generating not just noise but chaos in the minds of its operators.” (p. 16)

Bad design can be just an inconvenience, but at Three Mile Island it was a catastrophe waiting to happen. “Sometimes the lights were above the control they corresponded to, sometimes off to the side. They weren’t even grouped in a way that made sense: On the very same panel that would warn of water leaking from the reactor were alarm lights indicating elevator trouble.” (p. 31) On top of all this, the lights meant different things: there were fourteen different meanings for red, and eleven for green.

Finally, as the minutes ticked by, one of the men on duty was able to penetrate the chaos and mentally trace the probable sequence of events. Disaster was averted but it was a close call which destroyed confidence in nuclear power. After Three Mile Island dozens of planned reactors were canceled and no new ones have been built in the United States since then.

The ultimate irony of the situation was that the reactor would have handled the problem itself if the men had left it alone.

What happened instead was that the men, thanks to catastrophically bad control-room design, were unable to understand what was going wrong. Swaddled in a fog of misdirection, they made catastrophic choices. The plant and the men were talking past each other: The plant hadn’t been designed to anticipate the imaginations of men; the men couldn’t imagine the working of a machine. (p. 30)

The book has a section on the first steps toward the creation of things that had ease of use as one of their design criteria. At the start of the twentieth century new gadgets were becoming available that could, in theory at least, let people be more productive with less effort, such as washing machines, vacuums, and sewing machines. Designers started looking at how people actually used them, and modified their functions, appearance, and controls to suit the operators. At the same time, however, the concept of planned obsolescence was taking hold, so some changes were made just for the sake of change, and some were just silly, like adding streamlining to toasters.

World War II was an all-in experience for the Allies, where anything that could help bring victory was worth pursuing. Some of the book’s examples were new to me, such as recognizing “that speech could be made clearer over staticky lines by amplifying the consonants and tuning down the vowels – this single insight doubled the range of American radios, providing a crucial edge by the war’s end.” (p. 84-85) Others have been reported many times and have an air of myth-making about them. For instance, in examining crashes during aircraft landings the investigator “was quick to note that in the B-17 Flying Fortress, the four-engined workhorse of the American bombing effort, the toggle to to engage the landing gear was exactly as that for the wing flaps. They were right next to each other and looked exactly the same, and while pilots brought the airplane to the ground it was shockingly easy to retract the landing gear when they meant to lift the flaps.” (p. 83-84) Surely something like this could not have been a surprise and must have been reported previously in initial after-action reports: “Why did you raise the landing gear?” “I thought I was lowering the flaps.”

It is with the dawn of the computer age that user friendly design really hit its stride. There is a good discussion of the initial steps toward graphic interfaces, which corrects the widely reported view that Xerox had no idea of the value of the intellectual property they were giving away to Steve Jobs, which would underpin the development of Apple’s Macintosh graphical interface. In fact, one of the managers of the project was in tears about having to reveal their work, and would not do it until she had received a direct order from her boss.

I am old enough to have learned Fortran using punch cards, and remember dropping off a stack to be run overnight, and then the frustration of having to repeat a run because of a single stupid typo. As a result, I can appreciate the value of the real-time interface. “The machine, once it was capable of immediate feedback, was actually augmenting what your mind could do. An insight might flash before you, and you could test that idea out right away. Seeing how well it worked would spur new ideas, and on and on.” (p. 7)

There is also the concept of metaphor for designing user experiences. I was once a manger on a project building a computer system for the US government that used a dashboard metaphor to combine inputs from dozens of separate systems so that those who needed it saw the right information at the right time. I used to remind my people that our goal was to do the job so well that our efforts would fade into the background. At one time the creation of the phone system must have seemed impossible to the people doing it, but now we just expect it to work, and we don’t think about the men and women who poured heart and soul into creating it.

We don’t notice the desktop metaphor anymore because we no longer need it to explain how we’re supposed to use a modern computer. That’s how metaphors work: Once their underlying logic becomes manifest, we forget that they are ever there. No one remembers that before the steering wheel in a car, there were tillers, and that tillers made for a natural comparison when no one drove cars and far more people had piloted a boat. (p. 147)

One of the book’s most interesting chapters talks about edge design, “By learning how the overlooked, ranging from dyslexics to the deaf, pick their way through a world the rest of us navigate with little trouble, the hope was that one could actually build better products for everyone else.” (p. 203) For example the Aeron chair did not start out as a way to make office workers’ butts more comfortable; it began as a research project to find a breathable mesh to prevent bedsores in people who couldn’t move around. Similarly, something as simple as a curb cut in a road has had a big impact not only on people in wheelchairs, but parents with strollers, those with bad knees, limited depth perception, and many others.

And then came Facebook, and its Like button, tied to insidious algorithms that create feedback so that the things you like steer you toward more of the same, and since nothing facilitates engagement and increased time online like outrage, people get sucked down the rabbit hole of extremism into the bubble world where all they ever hear are the things that others just like them are also hearing. It is a great business model, but comes at a terrible cost. “Facebook’s most consequential impact may be in amplifying the universal tendency toward tribalism. Posts dividing the world in to ‘us’ and ‘them’ rise naturally, tapping into users’ desire to belong.” (p. 263)

There is also the idea that as things get easier and easier to use, we get farther away from an understanding of how they work. No one needs to understand how a fuel injection system works in order to drive a car, but if we reach the point where we are reduced to just pushing buttons we will lose the ability to see what else is available beyond what the button gives us, and “there is a point at which we are so far from how things work that we cease to use a product, and the product begins to use us. (p. 271)

I enjoyed this book. It gave me a lot to think about, including a re-evaluation of Goodreads’ own Like button. I enjoy reading other people’s reviews, and get a lot of good book recommendations from them, but I am not going to be a Like-Whore for Amazon’s benefit.
Profile Image for Esther Espeland.
255 reviews17 followers
February 23, 2020
Read this bc I work at a design school lmao but I really enjoyed it! Not at all something I thought about before but it was well researched and written and I learned a lot! And it had a social conscience tg tech companies are evil and I shan’t read anything that won’t recognize them as such!
Profile Image for Whitney.
415 reviews3 followers
January 15, 2020
One of the best parts of my job involves observing my family's behavior, then redesigning our environment to match our natural behavior with a desired outcome.

It turns out this is an entire field of study. #careeroptions

In seriousness, this book was fascinating. It discussed how the design of an object can affect its user's experience of that little piece of the world; it raised ethical and philosophical questions about how design does and should affect the tools that we use. I had to burn through the reading of this (it was a library book that was overdue already), but I would have liked to have read it slowly, letting several of his ideas sink in.
Profile Image for Phil Costa.
192 reviews2 followers
January 10, 2020
Really insightful book about how designers approach their tasks and about the broader questions of how designs affect the way we see the possibilities and the world. I felt like the first 2/3 of the book (about the historical evolution of user experience and design choices for things like nuclear power plants and airplanes) was stronger than the end sections (about the like button), but that may be the luxury of a longer perspective. Regardless, definitely worth a read if you're interested in product design or how product designers are shaping your view of the world.
Profile Image for Puty.
Author 7 books952 followers
June 12, 2022
I haven't read that many books about design and UX but I can say that this book is a great starting point. It chronologically explains the history of industrial design. It amazes me how 'user-friendliness' was not commonly thought of until the 1980s, that a nuclear plant accident couldn't be mitigated well because it wasn't 'user-friendly'.

This book also explains the socio-economics aspects of industrial design history ("The idea that America could only copy the heritage of the Old World was overthrown by a powerful new voice in the markets: women."), the psychology behind things such as the use of metaphors and some behavioral science stuff. The second half of the book mostly talks about UX.

What I like the most is how this book emphasizes empathy and humanity in technology. It's not only about how we can do better UX design but also step back and rethink about who is 'the user'? It reminds us about being wise about technology and why. Also, as someone who isn't an UX designer, I still find the user-centered design process step-by-step insightful.

Recommended!
Profile Image for Ned Frederick.
641 reviews15 followers
January 5, 2020
When I first plugged into the user-centered way of thinking about product design, it was four decades ago and I was struggling to understand functional design as it applied to footwear. This was at a time when Industrial Designers, for the first time, were being recruited by my company, to make sneakers more functional. Before that time, coaches, enthusiasts and tinkerers collaborated with traditional footwear stylists to "design" sneakers that would work better for the athletes that wore them. This quasi-functional approach was decidedly hit-or-miss. What we were trying to create was a more deliberate, evidence-based process. My part was to support the designers initiatives with research and testing. After 40 plus years of working shoulder to shoulder with three generations of talented product designers I'm still intrigued by the User Friendly perspective and see it as the best approach to innovation in sneakers and many other product categories.
This book weaves its User Friendly tapestry with threads from Ergonomics, Dreyfuss's Human Factors, Bauhaus's form follows function ethic, Jane Fulton Suri's key insights, and more recently the Design of Everyday Things thinking of cognitive psychologist Don Norman, my favorite guru. Lots of anecdotes and fascinating retellings of seminal moments in design history. For the most part It’s a beautiful thing with a natural elegance to the narrative. As the story evolves and starts to encompass digital interfaces we can see how the overlapping philosophies of earlier user-centered approaches influenced these new developments. Kuang stresses the importance of metaphor in choosing a user interface, providing feedback, being polite, and the clarity of intent/action. Most of all a user friendly interface must begin and end with an understanding of the users' perception. These are realizations that knocked me back. I suppose on some level I half-understood these things before, but this book punched them up into hard-to-miss headlines that revealed to me the full-on conversational nature of effective interfaces. For these gifts, I am grateful to the authors. But I have to say they made me work for it. Ironically, the user interface of User Friendly was not very friendly. It’s very conventional and virtually devoid of visual elements. This book would have been so much more accessible and complete if the authors had acknowledged the visual primacy of human perception and filled its pages with pictures, drawings, diagrams, etc. Even some of the wonderful faces of the progenitors of these mind-expanding insights would have been nice. Without a more visual interface, I came away feeling that this incredibly interesting book simply fell short of the mark.
Profile Image for Meera Sapra.
33 reviews7 followers
March 18, 2020
This is a most excellent book that I would put next to Don Norman's Design of Everyday Things. The authors talk about the history of human-centered design through several relevant concepts and real-world examples. I love how the author bring together so many powerful stories to explain the concept of user-friendliness, how it evolved over time, and what trends they predict for the future. This book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the field of design.
1 review1 follower
December 16, 2019
Wow-this was an amazing read! As an industry leader, it's hard to find technology books which thread practical storytelling, complex topical paradigms and new and unheard historical perspectives. This book does all of it. For students, new or lifelong, I highly recommend reading this over the boilerplate practicum of yesteryear. It's as fresh and relevant as anything out there!
Profile Image for Geoffrey.
4 reviews
February 7, 2021
An excellent dive into the organic story of user experience design. For designers and non-designers alike, "User Friendly" informs the reader on the usage and cultural differences in design throughout the 20th and into the 21st century. Highly informative if you want to know more about design, question the design of everyday things, want to think about the future of design, expand your perspective of how the world reacts and implements design into their lives.
Profile Image for Ariane.
6 reviews
April 19, 2022
Een kritische blik op de vooruitgang binnen de technologische wereld. Kuang schijnt in dit boek een spot op de designers en ingenieurs die de wereld veranderden, en hoe zij zich decennia later zich daarbij voelen. Maar ook over designers die vorm boven nut zetten, en met alle gevolgen van dien.
Profile Image for César.
7 reviews1 follower
June 20, 2020
Awesome history of design and design thinking coupled with a nuanced perspective of the promise and perils of designing digital products in the modern world. A must read for anyone wanting to think strategically about what it means to design something well and with purpose.
Profile Image for Caleb.
4 reviews7 followers
February 7, 2020
Despite the relative newness of the practice of 'user-friendly' design, most of the writing and discussion about it has treated it as an ahistorical subject, with universal, unquestioned, and unchanging principles and practices.

This book, intended for a general audience but satisfying for practitioners as well, is a welcome deviation from this norm. It offers a clear, insightful survey of how user experience design has been shaped by, and also helps to shape, the historical, cultural, and economic contexts within which it operates.

Kuang accomplishes all of this without ever getting bogged down in plodding technical details, or even a strictly chronological order to the narrative. Rather, he jumps deftly from era to era, never losing the reader as he deploys engaging anecdotes to introduce the major issues and perspective shifts in the field.

User experience design is full of paradox and unintended consequences. The practice supposedly exists solely for the betterment of end users, but is completely subsidized and influenced by corporate entities with profit incentives less than fully aligned with the interests of those users. It exists to make life better for people by making it simpler for them, but in doing so also creates new behaviors and needs that increase life's complexity. Much good has been done through its influence, but much harm as well.

But Kuang is not an apologist or a preacher. He raises the paradoxes without ever becoming heavy-handed or choosing sides, merely describing the reality and, in doing so, forcing the reader to consider and deal with their own complicity.
762 reviews4 followers
April 8, 2020
Unfortunately, my audiobook loan expired before I finished this book, but I got far enough along that I got the gist. It’s a review of the recent history of “user friendly” design and it highlights its points with great, richly reported examples. For example, as an example of NON user friendliness, it tells the story of 3 Mile Island, where the nuclear disaster really resulted from technicians not really understanding what the instruments reported as the situation deteriorated. Another example is the B-17 bomber, where the control for the landing gear and the wing flaps were identical and in close proximity — many crashed because they thought they were adjusting the flaps but instead retracted the landing gear. On the other side are examples of user friendly designs like the iPhone — but, also, how it’s used in a more “Friendly” way in China where apps are not discrete but rather integrated to deliver what the user actually wants in far fewer steps. For me, the best thing about this excellent and immersive book is that it actually explained to me my son’s PhD program in User Experience, that integrates seemingly disparate fields such as child psychology and philosophy as well as the more expected cognitive science — it seems that these disciplines essentially generated the core of “user friendliness” and how people experience it in product design. Good to know! A terrific book.

Grade: A
Profile Image for anna.
86 reviews20 followers
June 9, 2020
Lol I started reading this book for one of my assignments and I knew I had to stop when I read this:

“To take one simple example, we have expectations of how a book “works”: It has pages of information, laid out one after the other in a sequence; to get more information, you turn the page. One key to the enduring success of the touchscreen Amazon Kindle lies in how well it has remapped that mental model; just as you turn a page in a book, you “turn” a page by swiping at an e-book.”

Maybe Kuang does have a point about the mental model paradigm in design in this excerpt, namely UI/UX or product design .. but I simply cannot see this success as ‘enduring’ in any shape, way or form regarding the broader social values (re: empowerment, agency, diversity, transparency, empathy, community, independence) that I think should dictate nd inform design, esp in the context of our virtually mediated future - which I think UX/UI discourse has been, and still is, very lacking in lmfao

Tbh I wanted to give this two stars, but being v generous because I dnf’d this really early, like <20% in, and obviously Kuang isn’t just s*ck*ng *ppl*’s d*ck, which is good enough for me. Moreover, Kuang does a good job of unpacking core tenets of UX pretty early on (doesn’t necessarily mean I agree w them tho). So aside from my criticisms, I honestly don’t think this is the worst writing to come out of the aforementioned fields .. that being said, I still think Big Tech is evil!
Profile Image for Grant Baker.
45 reviews9 followers
January 29, 2020
Well-written, thoughtfully researched

Creating new products is difficult, especially when considering how to make them user friendly. This book looks back on the history of design to show the evolution of user friendly design. While I didn’t agree with all the authors’ conclusions not their assessment of personas, I still highly recommend this book to any designer or design-minded business person.
1 review
March 26, 2020
The synthesis and examples that went into this book to drive home the different sections was incredible. Being a UX practitioner (specifically in research) this book gave me so many additional perspectives into the world we are truly creating and engaging with. I think it would be very useful for people to read this book and understand how the technologies they use everyday shape their world and behavior.

Well done!
Profile Image for Kate.
244 reviews50 followers
June 1, 2021
A few good points, but largely a mess in serious need of an editor. Would be more straightforward to just read about Henry Dreyfuss and Donald Norman since this book is just referring back to them every two pages.

Particularly ironic that the author praised the Inuit CEO for using design principles to make tax preparation easy when Inuit is one of the companies who has lobbied to keep taxes as complicated as possible so that people need their services.
Profile Image for Daniel Brown.
74 reviews1 follower
March 21, 2020
Well written with relevant examples and clear thinking.

Mr Kuang isn't afraid to go deep and philosophical and his book is the better for it.

I've gotten so used to reading "Business Books" that are basically just repackaging of the same obvious thoughts that it was refreshing to read a work by someone that has obviously put a lot of original thought in to their thesis.
535 reviews1 follower
December 25, 2019
I thought the part where the automated car should be treated as a horse and has to give the driver feed back and gradually take the reigns is somehting to think about/ and how user friendly UX and UI ones that make using the thing more intuitive is something super important in reducing error
Profile Image for Skyler.
308 reviews13 followers
February 15, 2020
Great overview and history of design, especially in the last 100 years in America. I think this would be an interesting read for all, especially to folks who enjoy well designed products. It gets a bit too biographical at points, but the pace is pretty well kept and the chapters are well organized.
1,505 reviews3 followers
January 18, 2020
Very readable and interesting book about the history of design and its effects on our lives. A little bit too in awe of tech giants like Apple and Facebook but balanced with some criticism.
2 reviews
March 18, 2020
Great refresher for current UX designers and overview for someone interested in UX!
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