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How The Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing The Way We Live Work and Play

Cliff Kuang

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Discussing Three Mile Island disaster he describes how the control room was designed as an afterthought, and never planned in terms of how humans would run it in an emergency (basically lots of lights, sirens and hooters going off at once with no clear picture of the core problem). "Humans might fail, but they are not wrong...even the stupidest and strangest things that people do have their own indelible logic.You have to know why people behave as they do, and design around their foibles and limitations, rather than some ideal."

Feedback is key to understanding how something works.

Big problem that doctors don't get enough feedback on effectiveness of treatments they precribe.

Feedback is what keeps people on social media - the Likes etc that your post gets.

Our brains have evolved to deal with two types of experience - the physical world and the social world. But computers are a hybrid of both - we start out seeing them as inanimate, part of the physical world. But they engage with us, respond to our inputs, please and aggravate us. We can't help but see them as social actors.

The right metaphor is like an instruction manual, but better, bc it teaches you how something shd work without you having to be told. Your email 'inbox' makes you think of a desk with messages for you personally, so you at least look at the title of each. But an Instagram 'feed' or a Twitter 'stream' are things which are going past, and you have no compulsion to dip in. It would take a while to list off these rules, but we don't need to, bc we understand the metaphor.

Bentley car door feels heavy, solid. Designers cd easily have made it practically weightless, but wanted to convey solidity and higher quality.

The transparent dust cannister in Dyson vacuum gave you feedback on how much dust you'd collected, and made you want to vacuum more.

Chinese don't hold phones to ear as do in West; they hold them in front of their face. Most Chinese never had a desktop computer; they came to the Internet for the first time through their phones. So they have no history of exploring the web throgh search and URLs - they simply expect to do everything through services like WeChat. And this is a lesson for what will happen to the 'next billion' of smartph users - people in India and Africa who are barely literate but who can navigate ph menus.

Society is based on idea of civics, particularly in the way you treat other people. But Facebook makes it easy to say awful things in public. And unlike in the commons, such extremism is rewarded with Likes.

Why do we have to buy multiple devices? Why can't we juct carry around a digitalamulet with all our data and apps, and just have screens everywhere that you can use to display.

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