Alex Peek blog

List of posts    Blog archive    About


Friday, December 30, 2022

Alan Cooper and simplicity

Alan Cooper (1952-) is an American software designer best known for his contributions to Visual Basic. Wikipedia says,


"In his 1998 book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity, Alan Cooper outlined his methodology, called Goal-Directed design, based on the concept that software should speed the user towards his or her ultimate goal rather than ensnare him or her in computer minutiae." (Wikipedia: Alan Cooper, 12.16.22 UTC 00:01)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Cooper.




"No matter how beautiful, no matter how cool your interface, it would be better if there were less of it." (


"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 between a complicated, confusing program and a simple, fun and powerful product." (The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, 1998)


"A powerful tool in the early stage 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?" (About Face 3: Essentials of Interaction Design, 2012 by Alan Cooper, David Cronin and Robert Reimann)