Omnipresent technology presents the risk of overwhelming the people who use it. The development of computing is at a critical stage, according to cyborg anthropologist and designer Amber Case. Now, she insists, the focus must shift to the human aspects of technology. As she notes, “Technology might not have a limit, but we do.” Case expounds on a little-known paper written by two Xerox PARC researchers in the 1990s to explain why “calm technology” provides the right path forward. She describes the “principles and patterns” of calm technology, provides tools and real-world examples of technology that fails to account for the human element, and discusses how to design this technology to interact more effectively with people. Anyone can apply Case’ calm ethos in the design and use of almost any technology. Her practical manual offers a different way to consider technology – that is, as a complement to human intelligence and creativity. Case asserts that calm technology has the potential to change fundamentally how you can relate to technology, reduce anxiety and enhance productivity.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why “calm technology” should be an essential part of design,
- Which design principles calm technology follows, and
- How to implement calm technology in product design and across your organization.
About the Author
Cyborg anthropologist and user-experience designer Amber Case studies how new technologies increasingly shape people’s values and culture.