Buttons! (01-28-19)

Plotnick reports on the design of push [e.g., control-type] buttons.  As material on her publisher’s website states, “Push a button and turn on the television; tap a button and get a ride; click a button and ‘like’ something. The touch of a finger can set an appliance, a car, or a system in motion, even if the user doesn't understand the underlying mechanisms or algorithms. How did buttons become so ubiquitous? Why do people love them, loathe them, and fear them? In Power Button, Rachel Plotnick traces the origins of today's push-button society by examining how buttons have been made, distributed, used, rejected, and refashioned throughout history.”

Rachel Plotnick. 2018.  Power Button:  A History of Pleasure, Panic, and the Politics of Pushing. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.