Alan Cooper’s “The Inmates Are

Alan Cooper’s “The Inmates Are Running the Asylum” had been gathering dust on my bookshelf for a couple years before I finally picked it up again. I finished it last week, and I only wish I had read it sooner. There is good stuff in it for everyone involved in software development, from managers to designers, and yes, even programmers. Although Cooper describes a world where software development companies will have a dedicated team of interaction designers, and programmers won’t be actively creating user interfaces, the reality for small companies is that programmers need to be involved in many aspects of product design, including interface and feature definition. The book contains some great tools for changing the way we approach interface design, though, and even just implementing some pieces of his approaches would improve the design process at most companies.