The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity

What is this book about?

In this book Alan Cooper(the“Fatherof Visual Basic”) argues that spending much more time and money on usability and interaction design before even starting to think about what the product will look like or how to program it will produce much better results. 

Who is it useful for?

This book will useful for beginner startupers to understand the reason of failing many products or ideas and why you have to spend more time for considering the ways of using your products than developing directly.

Who is the author?

Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper is a pioneer of the modern computing era. His groundbreaking work in software design and construction has influenced a generation of programmers and business people alike and helped a generation of users embrace interaction design. He is best known as the“Fatherof Visual Basic” and is the founder of Cooper, a leading interaction design consultancy.


“Cooper, who designed Visual Basic, indulges in too much name-dropping and self-congratulation (Cooper attributes the quote, "How did you do that?" to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, upon looking at one of Cooper's creations) — but this appears to be “de rigueur” in books about the software industry. But those asides are minor. More valuable is the discourse about software design and implementation. Read this book for an idea of what's wrong with UI design.”

David Wall

“Cooper talks a lot about how projects are run by technologists or engineers, leading to a product that is designed around technical possibilities or constraints instead of user goals. That does happen, but I find that just as often, visual designers are the ones who are allowed to run the show, leading to a pretty but hard-to-use product.”

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