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About Robert Fabricant
Robert Fabricant is a product designer who has worked at the forefront of technology and user experience design for more than 25 years. Fabricants are makers, and Robert has had a hand in designing everything from interactive environments and virtual worlds, to medical devices, in car navigation systems, smart infrastructure, fintech, medical devices and consumer apps for organizations as varied as MTV, Daimler Chrysler, General Electric and UNICEF. He designed his first mobile and tablet apps more than a decade before the release of the iPhone and iPad. These days Robert leads the global design team at Dalberg Design with studios in London, Mumbai, Nairobi and New York. His team at Dalberg has applied human centered design to address societal challenges in low-resource settings in more than 40 countries and been named a World Changing Company by Fast Company in 2019. Prior to founding the global design practice at Dalberg, Robert served as the Vice President of Creative for frog design. Early in his career he worked at Microsoft Research to help design and launch online virtual worlds and 3D chat environments.
Robert has an Masters in Design and Technology from NYU and writes and speaks extensively about design for Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Wired, MIT Innovations, Fast Company and other leading publications. Robert holds numerous patents and has been named one of the top 100 public interest designers working globally today. He serves on the board of Praekelt.org a leading tech company in South Africa that develops population scale mobile applications that reach more than 100 million people in 65 countries with critical, life-saving information
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"User Friendly is a tour de force, an engrossing fusion of scholarly research, professional experience and revelations from intrepid firsthand reporting."
—EDWARD TENNER, The New York Times Book Review
In User Friendly, Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant reveal the untold story of a paradigm that quietly rules our modern lives: the assumption that machines should anticipate what we need. Spanning over a century of sweeping changes, from women’s rights to the Great Depression to World War II to the rise of the digital era, this book unpacks the ways in which the world has been—and continues to be—remade according to the principles of the once-obscure discipline of user-experience design.
In this essential text, Kuang and Fabricant map the hidden rules of the designed world and shed light on how those rules have caused our world to change—an underappreciated but essential history that’s pieced together for the first time. Combining the expertise and insight of a leading journalist and a pioneering designer, User Friendly provides a definitive, thoughtful, and practical perspective on a topic that has rapidly gone from arcane to urgent to inescapable. In User Friendly, Kuang and Fabricant tell the whole story for the first time—and you’ll never interact with technology the same way again.