#1 BookBites: User Friendly-How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work, and play by Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant



The machine had to be built for Homo sapiens to operate.


“We demand that new technologies do not only what they promise, but what we imagine. We also demand that they behave in the way we guess they will, without ever having used them before. But making that happen means that the machines must be designed so that our imaginations can’t get too far ahead of the machines. When they do, confusion reigns.”


Metaphors will always be one of our most powerful entry points to the user-friendly world, possessing the singular ability to make the foreign feel familiar, providing us mental models for how things work.



The most important problems to solve were those that weren’t being expressed. The most important questions to ask were those that people never thought to ask themselves.



Disney magic band in different colors




“User Friendly: How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work and play” by Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant

My highlights of the book:

  • Feedbacks are the bones of our relationship with the world around us.
  • The easier our interaction with the technology becomes, the easier we consume things, and that can lead to consumerism. We should think twice and consider our environment in the process as well.
  • The greater challenge lies in making these technologies into something we trust, which happens when they mimic the way we come to trust other people. Moreover, the key for us, humans, to be comfortable with the future lies in mapping all the contextual nuances that we use without thinking.
  • It’s possible to be blinded by your own biases. You can know too much about yourself, so you don’t see the world clearly. You can fail to understand people well enough to know their real problems.
  • People say what they believe or want, not what is really happening, so research is.
  • Invisible technology in our daily life is the one that is integrated with our social fabric and helps us be more human.
  • If we want the machine to work in our world, we need to build machines that better adapt to humans.
  • Design and technology collaboration will be going in a direction that user environment is as important as the devices we are using in our daily lives.
  • The next generation of design will become less about screens and things and more about scripts and cues.
  • When technology gets laced into the fabric of everything, we demand that those technologies hew closer to our social mores and the expectations of polite society.
  • User-friendliness wrought a world in which making things easier to use morphed into making them usable without a second thought. That ease eventually morphed into making products more irresistible, even outright addicting.
  • User-friendly design is being applied to greater swaths of everyday life — and the design itself is coming to encompass things we hardly think of as design at all.
  • The things we make reflect the things we value. Those values can change.




Designer and researcher passionate about people, their experiences, emotions, and interactions with AI. Get to know me better @boshra.me

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Boshra Javaheri

Boshra Javaheri

Designer and researcher passionate about people, their experiences, emotions, and interactions with AI. Get to know me better @boshra.me

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