Alan Cooper Quotes

Alan Cooper (born June 3, 1952) is an American software designer and programmer. Widely recognized as the “Father of Visual Basic," Cooper is also known for his books About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design and The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. As founder of Cooper, a leading interaction design consultancy, he created the Goal-Directed design methodology and pioneered the use of personas as practical interaction design tools to create high-tech products

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Alan Cooper


I have a cell phone that doesn't behave like a phone: It behaves like a computer that makes calls. Computers are becoming an integral part of daily life. And if people don't start designing them to be more user-friendly, then an even larger part of the population is going to be left out of even more stuff.

Alan Cooper


Usability methods are like sandpapering a chair. If you are making a chair, the sandpaper can make it smoother. But no amount of sandpaper will turn a chair into a table.

Alan Cooper


The payoff of a customer-centric approach to software and digital product design is substantial and long-lasting for both companies and their customers.

Alan Cooper


E-mail is the most influential application ever to appear on a personal computer, and it remains sadly deficient.

Alan Cooper


Define what the product will do before you design how the product will do it.

Alan Cooper


You Don't Have to Go Home from Work Exhausted!

Alan Cooper


We're building what I call 'software apartheid.' We're in the process of creating a divided society: those who can use technology on one side, and those who can't on the other. And it happens to divide neatly along economic lines.

Alan Cooper


Ironically, the thing that will likely make the least improvement in the ease of use of software-based products is new technology. There is little difference technically between a complicated, confusing program and a simple, fun, and powerful product.

Alan Cooper


There's a fundamental problem with how the software business does things. We're asking people who are masters of hard-edged technology to design the soft, human side of software as well. As a result, they make products that are really cool - if you happen to be a software engineer.

Alan Cooper


If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.

Alan Cooper


It's harder than you might think to squander millions of dollars, but a flawed software development process is a tool well suited to the job.

Alan Cooper


Reducing a product's definition to a list of features and functions ignores the real opportunity - orchestrating technological capability to serve human needs and goals.

Alan Cooper


Design is not so much a design issue as a power struggle.

Alan Cooper


A powerful tool in the early stages of developing scenarios is to pretend the interface is magic. If your persona has goals and the product has magical powers to meet them, how simple could the interaction be? This kind of thinking is useful to help designers look outside the box.

Alan Cooper


Keep it simple: In general, interfaces should use simple geometric forms, minimal contours, and a restricted color palette comprised primarily of less-saturated or neutral colors balanced with a few high contrast accent colors that emphasize important information. Typography should not vary widely in an interface.

Alan Cooper