The Design of Everyday Things
Revised and Expanded Edition
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Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious—even liberating—book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization. The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time. In this entertaining and insightful analysis, cognitive scientist Donald A. Norman hails excellence of design as the most important key to regaining the competitive edge in influencing consumer behavior. Now fully expanded and updated, with a new introduction by the author, The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how—and why—some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.
A comprehensive journey in design thinking
The Design of Everyday Things is a monumental trip into the realm of design thought. Don Norman asks us to turn on end our pre-conceived notions of what design is and to think from the point of view of the recipient of that design.
The journey is challenging in that the viewpoint examined is not singular, but as large as the potential audience of users. The question cannot be answered by applying design to the needs of a mythical average user. Such a user does not exist.
Norman addresses these seeming contradictions and creates a sort of flexible roadmap that makes design a community-based activity as opposed to a rigidly-defined expression of the designer's ego.
a must-read for anyone looking to pursue the field of design or user experience design. but be prepared to review this book. The theory is deep and bears repetition.