review of Changing Times: Quality for Humans in a Digital Age Paperback by Rich Rogers (Author). Available from Amazon here.
As technology becomes increasingly important in our lives, so does the question of quality.
Sports journalist Kim Harris increasingly relies on the websites, apps and devices which affect her life. Sometimes they help and sometimes they hinder; sometimes they are fun and sometimes they frustrate. Sometimes they seem designed to prevent her doing the things she wants to do.
Illustrated through Kim’s experiences, Changing Times explores the complex relationship between humans and technology. What affects that relationship? How does each of us determine what we like and don’t like about the technology we use? Does the work which goes into its development address the needs of real people?
A book about technology – but more importantly about the people who create it, and the people who use it – Changing Times provides insights about what quality means in our digital age.
This is a pleasantly readable book. It raises smart and relevant points about design, UX, and the quality of experience for users. The story device, to humanise the issues works well, and you become engaged with reading about how it all plays out. The challenges of AI replacing human labour are captured well. It does raise important questions about the new innovations will result in AI working with humans, or instead of them. There are certainly scenarios where AI will enhance the quality of work that humans can do, and projects they can deliver. The human characters are also believable and you become interested in how events play out for them. The episodes make it readable and interesting to absorb.
All of this considered however you do wonder ultimately if there are two good, but different books in this one edition, and perhaps it would have been better if they were each given their own voice and space to explore the ideas mentioned. The author clearly knows enough about the topic to write about UX, humans, and the challenge to deliver good quality experiences. Then there is the thread expounded on through the human characters, and the challenges for the future of the media. This could probably be a novel, screenplay, or something more cinematic.
As always you pay you money and make your choice. We enjoyed reading it, recognise that it raises some good points but just wonder if the format of it completely works.
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