• The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
    Alan Kay
  • In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. –proverb
    In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is in for a rough time! –Robert Heinlein
    In the country of the blind, the one-eyed people run things, and the two-eyed people are in for a rough time! –Alan Kay
  • the well-known committee syndrome – the only form of life with ten bellies and no brain
    –Alan Kay, 1969
  • Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible.
    –Alan Kay
  • Folge nicht den Fußspuren der Meister: Suche, was sie gesucht haben. [Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.
    – 松尾 芭蕉 (Matsuo Bashō) 1643 - 1694
  • We have to do more than teach kids to surf the Net; we have to teach them to make waves.
    Ben Shneiderman, 1998
  • From sparks to fire:
    1) Choose a good driving problem
    2) Become immersed in related work
    3) Clarify short-term and long-term goals
    4) Balance individual and group interests
    5) Work hard
    6) Communicate with internal and external stakeholders
    7) Get past failures. Celebrate success!
    –Ben Shneiderman, The Maryland Way, 1993
  • Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.
    –Benoit B. Mandelbrot, motto of Raum Schiff Erde 2011
  • if it ain't broke don't fix it
    Bert Lance
  • Getting the design right and the right design.
    –Bill Buxton
  • Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
    -Kranzberg’s Law /via Bill Buxton
  • Ich bin unsterblich. Ich schaue alle Jubellichtjahre mal vorbei, mal hier, mal dort. Gerade bin ich Passagier des Raumschiffes Erde, das mit 60.000 Meilen pro Stunde unterwegs ist irgendwo im Sonnensystem. [Right now I am a passenger on space vehicle Earth zooming about the Sun at 60000 miles per hour somewhere in the solar system.
    –Buckminster Fuller
  • There is a central quality which is the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town a building, or a wilderness. This quality is objective and precise, but it cannot be named.
    –Christopher Alexander, motto of Raum Schiff Erde 2016
  • If you do not share your analysis then it is not research, it is a waste of time.
    –Dave Winer at reboot11
  • Invention is the mother of necessity.
    -Kranzberg’s Laws /via Bill Buxton
  • A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
    –Douglas Adams, 1992
  • Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches?
    –Douglas Adams, 1979
  • Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
    –Douglas Adams, 2002
  • the world is so damn complex […] It’s getting more complex than ever at a more rapid rate that these problems we’re facing have to be dealt with collectively. listen
    –Douglas Engelbart
  • Matthias, Aktivist der Medien und Fröhlichkeit
    Frieder Nake
  • Researchers of Artificial Intelligence are deep religious believers. They believe that naming a phenomenon is understanding it.
    –Frieder Nake /via
  • The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
    –George Bernard Shaw
  • Tradition ist nicht die Anbetung der Asche, sondern die Weitergabe des Feuers. [Tradition is not worshipping the ashes – it is to carry on the fire.
    –Gustav Mahler (et al.)
  • As he entered the atmosphere, he realized it was all her fault.
    Ian Gilman
  • And when the fun goes away, so do I.
    -Ivan Sutherland in »Research and Fun«, 2005
  • The carrot theory of research management: Research is like growing carrots. And the way you manage that is you pull them out every week and look at how they hang and put them back in the ground. And if in fact you have in fact lots and lots of research reviews and you demand that and your people report their progress and have breakthroughs in a timely fashion, you are not likely to get much.
    -Ivan Sutherland in »Research and Fun«, 2005
  • Mit offenen Augen durch das Leben zu gehen – darauf kommt es an. [Walk through life with open eyes – that’s what matters.
    –Joe Weizenbaum, 2007
  • It is a widely held but a grievously mistaken belief that civil courage finds exercise only in the context of world-shaking events. To the contrary, its most arduous exercise is often in those small contexts in which the challenge is to overcome the fears induced by petty concerns over career, over our relationships to those who appear to have power over us, over whatever may disturb the tranquility of our mundane existence.
    –Joseph Weizenbaum in »Computer Power and Human Reason«, 1976
  • [Werden wir mal menschenähnliche Roboter haben? Und bereitet mir das Sorgen?] Was mir mehr Kummer macht, sind roboterähnliche Menschen. [Are you concerned about human-like robots? – I am more worried about robot-like humans.
    -Joe Weizenbaum, 2007
  • I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I am frightened of the old ones.
    –John Cage
  • Jeder Seemann ein Artist. Zwei Seeleute ein Zirkus. [Each sailor an artist. Two seamen a circus.
    –Kapitän Jörg Pollmann
  • We are creating the illusion that there is no user illusion anymore.
    –Josh Clark, 2012
  • Die Philosophen haben die Welt nur verschieden interpretiert; es kommt aber darauf an, sie zu verändern. [Philosophy offers different interpretations of the worls. But your aim should be to change it.
    –Karl Marx
  • Mars ist leichter als Mond. Aber auf mich hört ja keiner. [Mars is easier than Moon. But nobody is listening to me.
    Karsten Becker, 2011
  • Live ist not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
  • technical solutions for nontechnical problems
    Kai von Luck et al. 2010
  • Gute Typographie bemerkt man so wenig wie gute Luft zum Atmen. Schlechte merkt man erst, wenn es einem stinkt. [You neither notice good typography nor fresh air. You recognize bad typography when it stinks.
    –Kurt Weidemann
  • When too perfect, lieber Gott böse.
    –Nam June Paik
  • We are not passenger, we are all crew on spaceship earth!
    –Marshall McLuhan, motto of Raum Schiff Erde RSE10
  • We are shaping the tools. And the tools are shaping us.
    –Marshall McLuhan
  • »Think of the confusion.«
    »But think of the fun!«
    –Marx Brothers
  • It is not what you do to the language. It’s what the language does to you.
    –Peter Brook /via Fiona Shaw in »Voyage and Return: The Gathering Ireland Festival Symposium«
  • Ich glaube an die Macht der Worte. Ein paar von ihnen, in der richtigen Reihenfolge, können die Welt befreien. [I believe in the power of words. A couple of them in the right order can change the world.
    –Radovan Tadic in »Erreur de jeunesse« (Jugendsünde), 1989
  • God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.
    –Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish
    Stewart Brand
  • Computers don’t actually think. You just think they think. (We think.)
    Ted Nelson in Dream Machines, p12
  • Talent matters a lot more than method, methodology or process, and…
    Talent is disappearing out the door faster than you can count the open requisitions.
    -Tom DeMarco, 2001
  • First there was VisiCalc. Then there was PhotoShop. Now there’s GoLive. […] It is a joy to learn and a joy to use.
    Tog 1998
  • A single atomic bomb can spoil your day.
    –Tom Gilb
  • Share your shit!
    –Tor Nørretranders at reboot10
  • The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.
    –William Gibson, cf. Zeit Magazin
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
    –Yogi Berra
  • A robot shall not harm a human, or, through inaction, allow a human to come to harm. –Isaac Asimov’s first law of robotics
    Any system shall not harm your content or, through inaction, allow your content to come to harm. –Jef Raskin, 2000
    Any system shall not harm your interactions or, through inaction, allow your interactions to come to harm. –mprove
  • The paradigm shift is not from CLI to GUI to Web to App to Voice.
    It is from CLI to CLI & GUI & WebUI & TUI & VUI. It is a rather wicked UI world for the people of our times.
    –mprove 2011
  • Nothing is so healing as the human touch.
    –Bobby Fischer
  • Vielleicht Cello und ISS und zum Schluss etwas Kakapo? Anhören
  • Heute kommt das Shuttle des Raum Schiff Erde und holt Russland, das Morgenland und 4 Stehlampen ab.
    –mprove 2016
  • Wenn ein Mensch träumt, ist es nur ein Traum.
    Wenn viele Menschen zusammen träumen, ist es der Anfang einer Wirklichkeit. /via
  • Wer nicht Nein sagen kann, der kann ein Ja auch nicht halten. [If you cannot say no, you probably cannot hold to a yes either.
  • Während die Tinte trocknet wird der Gedanke langsam zu Schrift. [While ink is drying, thought becomes writing.
  • Tue Gutes und rede darüber [Do good stuff and talk about it.
  • leading by example
  • Never blame the user.
  • …was man unter einem masselosen Teilchen verstehe, das um sich selbst rotiere,
    ob nicht vielmehr der Raum um dieses Teilchen, um diesen Punkt herumwirble
    und wir und die Welt vielleicht mit, wie auf einem wahnwitzigen Karussell um eigentlich nichts…
    –Friedrich Dürrenmatt, 1974
  • Consulting jobs are all alike: the client presents a problem, you have to figure out the real problem, and figure out how to tell the client.
    –Ted Nelson
  • If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.
    –Steve Jobs
  • Gestalten heißt: In Fesseln tanzen.
    –Walter Gropius
  • Creativity comes from the freedom to fail. And freedom to fail comes from experimentation, and that’s what gives something its individuality. –Peter Gabriel
  • May you live in intersting times. –a made-up Chinese curse /via
  • Du hast einen Anspruch an Qualitäten und ein Vermögen der Einfühlung, die aus der Sache sich speisen, nicht aus der Technik. –Frieder Nake
  • Die Sinne sind uns Brücke vom Unfaßbaren zum Faßbaren. | The senses are our bridge between the incomprehensible and the comprehensible. –August Macke
  • Make me think – and don’t waste my time. –mprove
  • That’s how it is, that’s how life should be. We collect memories. –Jürgen Klopp /via
  • If everybody loves your work, you’re playing it much too safe. Learn how to trust your gut. –David Carson
  • We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
    ~Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night (1961)
  • Science is magic that works. –Kurt Vonnegut
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. –Arthur C. Clarke
  • Technology is everything that doesn’t work yet. –Danny Hillis
  • Wann immer sich die Medien ändern, äändert sich die Gesellschaft. [Whenever media is changing. society changes as well. –Walther Benjamin

mprove ideas + interaction + design

Matthias Müller-Prove /mprove/ is an independent innovation and interaction designer. He is an experienced public speaker and author on the areas of innovation, interaction design, and media theory. Matthias shares his insights and methodology of 25+yrs designing professional desktop, web, and mobile interfaces for international operating companies at design and brand institutes.

Please check the menu bar on top to browse further focus areas.

Inventions and ideas are fairly easy compared to success in the market. You need both sides for innovative products and services. Understanding the user and customer is key to sucess.

More on Innovation

I’ve been a "senior software development product manager" and "user experience principal" at Oracle. Due to the acquisition of Sun, I am also the "last user experience architect of Sun Microsystems ever". Here are a few resources that I find extremeley relevant and inspiring in order to position a design team in an organization and to develop a strategy for the business.

More on Leadership & Strategy

The user experience design approach does not need to be limited to digital products and services. UX Thinking can be applied to live events (conference experience), communities (social experience), exhibitions (scenography), companies (employer branding, feel-good management), cities (urban ux), and much more…

More on Experience Design

Digital technology is becoming part of our human culture like reading and writing. As we are in the midst of the revolution, my aim is to understand, comment and drive the shift. Computer and information science is – more than ever – a social science. We develop systems for people. Therefore, we are responsible for the consequences on our culture. This is what it means to be a human computer interactivist.

More on Interface Culture

I am currently teaching Social Media Trends and Customer Relations Strategy at Fresenius AMD in Hamburg. It is gratifying to build a social media and interaction design curriculum based on 20 years of experience and research.

More on HCI Academia

mprove live

mprove photography