Books related to Humane Design?

What books related to Humane Design are out there?

  • "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products is a guide to building habit-forming technology." by Nir Eyal
    Written for product managers, designers and from their perspective. Provides a great “hook” model - loop of trigger > action > variable reward > investment. This is a great explanation on how products become habbits and addictions.

  • "The Hacking of the American Mind" by Dr. Robert Lustig
    Provides the underlying physiological mechanism of long term happiness decrease, caused by to over consumption of short term pleasures. Ties behaviors (for example, consuming too much interesting social media feeds; lack of interpersonal eye-to-eye contacts ) to biochemistry dopamine over production >> dopamine resitance >> serotonin decrease >> less happiness.

  • "The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life" by Kevin Simler, Robin Hanson
    Provides various proves and examples, that people often do not understand true motives of their behaviours. Beyond people personal lives, unconscious motives also lurk within large-scale social institutions such as art, charity, education, politics, and religion.
    Important for designers of humane products and policies as they should understand the true motives and root causes of the issues, to be effective in their goal to create humane products and policies.

Irresistible : the rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked by Adam Alter (2017) Acknowledges that we are all potential addicts. Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, is at the cutting edge of research into what makes these products so compulsive

Glow kids : how screen addiction is hijacking our kids-- and how to break the trance by Nicholas Kardaras. (2016)

The Glass Cage (2014) by Nicholas Carr uses neurological science anecdote and history to gauge the organic impact of computers/internet of things, It’s about automation’s human consequences.

iGEN : the 10 trends shaping today’s young people-and the nation, by Jean Twenge (2017) As social media and texting replace other recreational activities and ways of communicating, iGen’ers spend less time with their friends and loved ones in person – which perhaps explains why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness

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Thanks a lot, @Jill. This looks like a great collection of books, central to Humane Design of digital products. Very helpfull!

Added to the list:

"The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life" by Kevin Simler, Robin Hanson

IMO, very important book because, it adds arguments to the discussion about “the real beef” that people have with social networking services (tried to touch this topic here and more completely here).

The biggest issue with social networks might not be the loss of privacy and depletion of attention, but the “envy spirals” that they cause, that lead to depression and anxiety.

People, are very bad at conscious understanding of the feeling of envy. Often people, feel anger, frustration, irritation without understanding that it is caused by envy. In case of social networking services, they blame social media in all the sins, when in actuality the main issue that they have with social networks is the heighten feeling of envy, that translates into depression, frustration, anxiety.

If this is true and (there are scientific evidences for this), it opens very important discussion whether social media can be fixed by better privacy and notifications controls or it cannot be fixed due to its very nature of providing stage for “showing off”, thus activating envy and triggering “envy spirals”.

Here (see part about UX tools), I show that we can dampen envy spirals by making possible asymmetric responses in social competition. In Validbook Social it is accomplished by using compartmentalized social profiles.

How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through the Power of Self-Design by Jenifer Joy Madden.

From Kirkus Reviews: Madden (The Durable Human Manifesto, 2013), a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the Society of Environmental Journalists, warns that with their current dependence on technology, humans are not only losing muscle mass and memory, but also opening themselves up to the possibility of being superseded by robots. She calls her proposed solution the “Triple Crown of Durability”: self-reliance, genuine relationships, and curiosity. According to the author, the barriers to healthy development are considerable, ranging from the metabolic diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle to the eye strain caused by frequent screen use. She also frets over the energy emitted by Wi-Fi–enabled devices, which she rather whimsically refers to as “The Glow.” A possible association between cellphone use and cancer remains controversial, but a few high-profile cases have made it at least seem prudent to use hands-free devices whenever possible and not store cellphones and tablets on one’s person. Luckily, this book is not all doom and gloom: rather than leaving it at plain scaremongering, it lists straightforward mitigation strategies at every turn. Madden enumerates simple ways to add more walking and standing to each workday and suggests that cutting time with gadgets by spending more moments outside contributes to better health and sleep, especially for children. Many problems boil down to having an overloaded brain, she explains, so mindfulness and decompression through music, conversation, or exercise are essential. Anecdotes and everyday metaphors help to drive the lessons home. For instance, Madden was forced to pay better attention when she fell off her folding bike because she didn’t secure the handlebars properly. She deftly equates sleep to the body performing a thorough cleanup of its systems like a dishwasher and compares working memory to an often leaky bucket. Sometimes the book seems overly indebted to opinions and quotations from other authors, but that doesn’t significantly detract from how useful a compendium of knowledge it should prove to be.
An all-too-relevant and eminently practical book that offers health strategies in a gadget-packed world.

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