ISBN-10:
0262194767
ISBN-13:
9780262194761
Pub. Date:
10/04/2002
Publisher:
MIT Press
Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies

Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies

by Ben Shneiderman
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Overview

Ben Shneiderman's book dramatically raises computer users' expectations of what they should get from technology. He opens their eyes to new possibilities and invites them to think freshly about future technology. He challenges developers to build products that better support human needs and that are usable at any bandwidth. Shneiderman proposes Leonardo da Vinci as an inspirational muse for the "new computing." He wonders how Leonardo would use a laptop and what applications he would create.

Shneiderman shifts the focus from what computers can do to what users can do. A key transformation is to what he calls "universal usability," enabling participation by young and old, novice and expert, able and disabled. This transformation would empower those yearning for literacy or coping with their limitations. Shneiderman proposes new computing applications in education, medicine, business, and government. He envisions a World Wide Med that delivers secure patient histories in local languages at any emergency room and thriving million-person communities for e-commerce and e-government. Raising larger questions about human relationships and society, he explores the computer's potential to support creativity, consensus-seeking, and conflict resolution. Each chapter ends with a Skeptic's Corner that challenges assumptions about trust, privacy, and digital divides.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262194761
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 10/04/2002
Pages: 281
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ben Shneiderman is Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983–2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

My favourite sentence in this book is 'easy to say, but tough to do. ' Ben Shneiderman addresses many of the key issues in creating powerful tools that empower and liberate users. By comparison with a bygone age, and a true polymath (Leonardo), Ben puts his finger on how specialised and compartmentalised our thinking has become. I can't help feeling that if everyone were to read this book we would have a lot less technology and interface induced grief. Definitely one for the pocket and desk and not the bookshelf.

Peter Cochrane , Co-Founder, ConceptLabs California

A lot of people talk about a new wave of innovation driven by human need, rather than by technology, but Ben Shneiderman is actually doing the innovating. This timely book is about the new ways technology will help us mobilise human agency, not replace it.

John Thackara , First Perceptron, Doors of Perception

Endorsement

A lot of people talk about a new wave of innovation driven by human need, rather than by technology, but Ben Shneiderman is actually doing the innovating. This timely book is about the new ways technology will help us mobilise human agency, not replace it.

John Thackara, First Perceptron, Doors of Perception

John Thackara

A lot of people talk about a new wave of innovation driven by human need, rather than by technology, but Ben Shneiderman is actually doing the innovating. This timely book is about the new ways technology will help us mobilise human agency, not replace it.

Peter Cochrane

My favourite sentence in this book is 'easy to say, but tough to do.' Ben Shneiderman addresses many of the key issues in creating powerful tools that empower and liberate users. By comparison with a bygone age, and a true polymath (Leonardo), Ben puts his finger on how specialised and compartmentalised our thinking has become. I can't help feeling that if everyone were to read this book we would have a lot less technology and interface induced grief. Definitely one for the pocket and desk and not the bookshelf.

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