In my consulting activities, I often have to explain to companies that they are too logical, too rational. Human behavior seldom follows mathematical reasoning. By the standards of engineers, human behavior can be illogical and irrational. From the standpoint of people, however, their behavior is quite sensible, dictated by the activity being performed, the environment and context, and their higher-level goals. To support real behavior we need activity-centered design. Years ago anthropologists Janet Dougherty and Charles Keller studied how blacksmiths organize their tools. Blacksmiths, they discovered, don't put all the hammers neatly away on the shelves, all together. No,…
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