Automation is all around us: elevators, automatic doors at the supermarket, and auto-pilots on airplanes. For the most part, we never think about it. It makes our lives easier, cheaper, and safer. But with every new automation, there is this transitional moment. When something first goes automatic, it is disorienting. It freaks us out.
And the big question surrounding automation isn't just about economics or technology. It's about psychology. How do designers make us comfortable with something that can be really scary?