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
Chapter 1Designing for the Next 50 Billion Devices
Four Waves of Computing
The Next 50 Billion Devices
The Future of Technology
Chapter 2Principles of Calm Technology
The Limited Bandwidth of Our Attention
Principles of Calm Technology
Chapter 3Calm Communication Patterns
Chapter 4Exercises in Calm Technology
A Calm Interaction Evaluation Tool
Chapter 5Calm Technology in Your Organization
Building Teams for Calm Technology
Design for Privacy
Selling Calm Technology to Managers
Entering a Product into Human Society: A Calm Product Launch
Chapter 6The History and Future of Calm Technology
Amber Case studies the symbiotic interactions between humans and machines — and considers how our values and culture are being shaped by living lives increasingly mediated by high technology.
Case’s 2010 TED talk on technology and the new version of homo sapiens has over 1.2 million views; she keynoted SXSW in 2012 and speaks regularly at conferences and workshops all over the world. Previously, she was the CEO of and co-founder of Geoloqi, a location-based software company acquired by Esri in 2012.
That year she was named one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers and made Inc Magazine’s 30 under 30. Case is an advocate of privacy, data ownership and calm technology.
Dubbed a “digital philosopher,” by Fast Company magazine, she is the author of An Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology. Case lives and works in Portland, Oregon. You can follow her on Twitter @caseorganic or at caseorganic.com.
The animal on the cover of Calm Technology is a Sunda slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), an arboreal primate found throughout the tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. These solitary animals are often referred to as malu-malu, the Indonesian word for “shy.”The Sunda slow loris measures about 11 to 15 inches long. It has a round head with large, dark-rimmed eyes separated by a white strip of fur ending at the nose. Its thick, woolly coat is brown in color, and features a dark stripe that runs from the back of its head along its spine. It also has a vestigial tail.The slow loris is nocturnal, sleeping on tree branches curled up in a tight ball. Its diet includes tree sap, floral nectar, and fruit. The species is at serious risk of extinction due to hunting for the exotic pet trade and habitat loss.Many of the animals on O’Reilly covers are endangered; all of them are important to the world. To learn more about how you can help, go to animals.oreilly.com.The cover image is an animal illustration by Karen Montgomery, based on an engraving from Meyers Kleines Lexicon. The cover fonts are URW Typewriter and Guardian Sans. The text font is Scala Regular; and the heading font is Gotham Narrow Medium.
Anyone designing technlogy for Humans should reference this
About Me Designer, Developer, Maker
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.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend