Chapter 4

Communicating to People

“If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person.”

—ALAN COOPER

“Designing an interface to be usable is like a chef creating edible food.”

—AARON WALTER

If our user interfaces were designed to communicate with robots—robots whose only requirement is mechanical usability—we would be largely done at this point. But our target users aren’t robots. Our UIs are designed to communicate with humans—emotional humans who have incomplete knowledge, who constantly make small mistakes, who want to feel productive and don’t like wasting time, who want to be treated with respect, and who want to enjoy what they are doing and don’t want to be bored. These emotional humans want our ...

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