"[Schneiderman} is blessed with an engaging writing style and the ability to make this material interesting and lively."
— Jessie Thorpe, Modbee.com
"This book is an inspiration, a must read."
— Professor Gavriel Salvendy, International Journal of Human Computer Interaction
"It's easy...to get caught up in the author's techno-Utopian vision of a world hotwired to serve its populace."
— Elizabeth Millard, ComputerUser.com
"A very useful book..."
— Peta Jellis, First Monday Reviews
"Who should read (Leonardo's Laptop)? Everyone who cares about mankind, technology, and the future."
— Gerd Waloszek, SAP Design Guild
"This is an eloquently written and visionary book."
— Pashu Anantharam, The Rational Edge
Ben Schneiderman's book, Leonardo's Laptop, was a required text in a Cyberspace, Culture and Society course I taught this summer. The course was a combined upper level undergraduate and graduate seminar class that included students from a wide range of academic disciplines: English, sociology, psychology, anthropology, computer science, information systems, philosophy, interdisciplinary studies, Language, Literacy and Culture, and Policy Science. The students overwhelmingly indicated that the book was excellent: readable, inspiring, and thought provoking.
Leonardo's Laptop urges users to promote better design by getting "angry about the poor quality of user interfaces and the underlying infrastructure" and to think big about the ways computers could "support creativity, consensus-seeking and conflict resolution." Shneiderman urges designers to build technology guided by the principle of universal usability to insures that all types of people, young, old, novices, experts, disabled, will be able to use technology to enhance their lives.
Chapters dealing with e-leaning, e-commerce, e-health, and e-government suggest creative ways that technology can support humans as they seek to deal with pressing social issues. This book creatively explores a topic that, all too often, is dealt with in jargon and technical terminology that is not accessible to a wide audience and narrowly frames the discussion of technology and its effects. The book promoted interesting discussion between technical and non-technical students about the effects of technology on societies around the world. The students especially liked the "collect, relate, create, donate framework" that Schneiderman so skillfully uses to illustrate how technology can empower and liberate users.
— Diane Maloney-Krichmar, University of Maryland Baltimore County
"Questions about the relationship between technology and culture may be more important than ever. Ben Shneiderman's conviction that da Vinci's ideas about art and technique remain relevant may bring us an important step or two closer to useful answers about the roles that we want computers in play in our lives."
The course in which I've used Leonardo's Laptop is called "LIS 2000: Understanding Information." ...It is designed as an introduction to the graduate program in library and information science at Pittsburgh, and attempts to look at a series of issues that affect the environment for scholarly publishing, information exchange, information retrieval, etc. The official course description is as follows: "Issues and problems arising from interrelationships among information and individuals, society, organizations and systems, and information that the information professions address."
—Christinger Tomer, University of Pittsburgh