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Expressive Systems: A Manifesto for Radical Business Software Paperback – 1 Jan 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: CSC Computer Sciences (1 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953974405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953974405
  • Product Dimensions: 29.7 x 18.3 x 8.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,755,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A new approach to the design of business information systems that treats the user as a problem solver rather than a process-follower

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and very important book. In the mid-1990s we were really starting to understand what made computer systems usable, how human interactions with their computer systems could be tuned to make a more rewarding experience. The user would reach the goal of their computer use and be helped to solve any problems on the way, without any of the common frustrations and mistakes.
Then the Internet happened, and suddenly we were put back 10 years. Everyone wanted "web based" systems, which had a some advantages, but one big disadvantage, Although such systems were superficially modern, with pretty colours and pictures, their models for the human-computer interface were mainly out of the dark ages of mainframe computing.
Richard's book puts us back on track. He reminds us that we should be building software for people to use, and that if we get that wrong, most other considerations are secondary. He also has a clear vision of how systems should work, exposing the underlying object model to the users, so that they can directly manipulate a representation of their problem or task.
He starts by exploring the shortcomings of existing systems, and asking how a better interface would improve matters. He then develops a clear understanding of the characteristics of his "expressive" systems, as well as explaining why these are very different from capabilities like end user programming. Unusually, this is explained as a "business case" which business managers as well as IT specialists can understand. By doing so, we understand why this should be important to senior stakeholders, and not just something to keep the users and "techies" happy.
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