A book by Alan Cooper
, the guy who basically invented Visual Basic
. The subtitle is "Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity".
Cooper has an extremely good grasp of the inadequacies of modern day interface design. Fully half of the book is taken up with descriptions of "what happens when you cross a book/camera/car with a computer." In almost all cases, the resulting product is embarrassingly unusable because not enough time has been put into who is actually using the tool.
Cooper then proceeds with a devastatingly accurate picture of the programmer, who he calls homo logicus, a species of humanity which wants total control and is willing to accept complexity to achieve it. Cooper's thesis is that because the programmers are designing the product, they use themselves as the ideal user instead of the person who is just trying to get the work done. This explains why most of the world doesn't use Emacs.
I think that Cooper's points are valid, and his emphasis on interaction design -- determining how the product is used, rather than interface design (which he defines as "determining how the product looks") is something which has bothered me for a long time about computers. However, I do think that Cooper lets the designer off the hook too lightly: the designers I work with personally are excellent, but I have also seen numerous examples of work where the designer was more interested in visual design and how the product LOOKED than in how it ACTED. You can take any one of Kai Krause's products as example... the interface is beautiful to look at, but almost impossible to use.
However, this book clearly nails an important idea and points out the problem head on that computers shouldn't make you feel stupid. On that level, I would place it next to The Mythical Man-Month in terms of significance, because it's not only an important issue, but something which cripples the industry on a daily basis.