Calm Technology
Principles and Patterns for Non-Intrusive Design
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2015
Pages: 152

How can you design technology that becomes a part of a user’s life and not a distraction from it? This practical book explores the concept of calm technology, a method for smoothly capturing a user’s attention only when necessary, while calmly remaining in the background most of the time. You’ll learn how to design products that work well, launch well, are easy to support, easy to use, and remain unobtrusive.

Author Amber Case presents ideas first introduced by researchers at Xerox PARC in 1995, and explains how they apply to our current technology landscape, especially the Internet of Things. This book is ideal for UX and product designers, managers, creative directors, and developers. You’ll learn:

  • The importance and challenge of designing technology that respects our attention
  • Principles of calm design—peripheral attention, context, and ambient awareness
  • Calm communication patterns—improving attention through a variety of senses
  • Exercises for improving existing products through calm technology
  • Principles and patterns of calm technology for companies and teams
  • The origins of calm technology at Xerox PARC
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oreillyCalm Technology
 
5.0

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5.0

Anyone designing technlogy for Humans should reference this

By Max

from Ohio

About Me Designer, Developer, Maker

Verified Buyer

Pros

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    Comments about oreilly Calm Technology:

    Many times people that design the technologies that we use everyday simply make something that performs its function. Bu this book asks the big basic questions: Do people need it? How would people use it and how would people like to interact with it?
    This book goes over many concepts that should be considered when making new things of any sort for people to use.

    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The future of technology is calm

    By Junana

    from Santa Barbara, CA

    About Me Designer, Developer, Maker

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

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    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

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      Comments about oreilly Calm Technology:

      The future of technology is calm. Calm or else. The else is what bad design and ubiquitous but inoperable devices will bring to our homes, streets, and business. Will the internet of things become a sideshow cacophony of devices that demand our full attention while pretending to make our life simpler? Or will it give us the comfy chair that remembers how we like to sit, the emergency reminder system that pings us at just the right time, and the smart house that can keep its clocks and refrigerator running in an electrical brownout? Like a fine aphrodisiac, the best technology improves human experience without announcing its presence. This book is about technology that amplifies the capacities we have as humans, instead of those machines the pretend to be human, but will always fail. Calm describes the internet of (really nice, very handy, and hardly noticeable) things.

      Case provides, reasons, exemplars, and requirements for calm technology here. She points to a history of design to support her arguments, looking back to the early work of Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown. Her own history in the thick of social and geospatial technology development—and her biography as a social media maven—lends her text a voice that resonates with experience and lessons learned.

      She concludes the book with a number of examples of calm technology out in the world today. She describes utilities that fail without losing their basic utility (like jets that can glide when their engines fail), alerts that occur in the periphery of our experiences without shouting, or screaming, or buzzing at us like angry hornets.

      An environment filled with calm technology leaves the user alone as much as possible. To do this, the technologies need to communicate with each other. This is likely to be the largest challenge for calm technologies in the coming decades. We are lucky to have visionaries like Amber Case setting up guidelines for designers today. The technology future will need to be built with attention and care. Otherwise it will arrive like a room full of noisy mechas.

      This book is a great place for technology designers to consider how their work can amplify the humans that use it.

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