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The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A.…

The Design of Everyday Things (1988)

by Donald A. Norman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,908511,932 (4.07)28
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» See also 28 mentions

English (49)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
After reading this I revamped how my light switches work at home. ( )
  scottkirkwood | Dec 4, 2018 |
DoeT isn't the world's best written book—Norman's style is too often kvetchy-casual, sounding more like a modern-day ranty blog post than a classic of academic design writing.

But that is only one way in which this book is ahead of its time. The observations and recommendations regarding usable design here hold to extremely well 25 years later; even though Norman's examples concern ancient phone systems and slide projectors, it all translates perfectly well to virtual touchscreen UIs of today. And when he makes predictions about the future, he's eerily prescient. Watch him describe smartphones, the World Wide Web, Nest thermostats, and Siri… in 1988. Not only does he correctly predict future technology, he's better aware of its problems than today's designers.

That alone excuses the book's stylistic shortcomings and proves its undeniable worth. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Obviously dated, but thoughtful and pragmatic. The sections about computers will give you a giggle, but I imagine it was sound enough at the time. ( )
  Laurelyn | Oct 20, 2017 |
This book goes about as deep into the theory and practice of design as a layperson could want to go. Many of the examples are hopelessly outdated, resulting in the impression that the author is an incompetent old fogey who cannot use a telephone. I'm sure that he's actually very clever, because his diagrams and explanations of the philosophy of design are fantastically easy to understand and apply. The book contains a lot of great thoughts on user error (the examples of which had me laughing until I cried). It probably won an award ;) ( )
  R.E.Stearns | Aug 15, 2017 |
Good, smart points; too often people blame themselves for errors with devices when the designs are faulty - something even as "simple" as doors.

The lessons here are undortunately not well learned, 23 years later, perhaps even less so as products are rushed to market today. Another one for the toolbox. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donald A. Normanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Noferi, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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“You would need an engineering degree from MIT to work this,” someone once told me, shaking his head in puzzlement over his brand new digital watch.
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Originally printed as "The Psychology of Everyday Things". Reprinted as "The Design of Everyday Things." Please, do not separate the differently titled works.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0465067107, Paperback)

Anyone who designs anything to be used by humans--from physical objects to computer programs to conceptual tools--must read this book, and it is an equally tremendous read for anyone who has to use anything created by another human. It could forever change how you experience and interact with your physical surroundings, open your eyes to the perversity of bad design and the desirability of good design, and raise your expectations about how things should be designed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:49 -0400)

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Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which switch turns on which light or stove burner, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault lies in product designs that ignore the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. A bestseller in the United States, this classic work on the cognitive aspects of design contains examples of both good and bad design and simple rules that designers can use to improve the usability of objects as diverse as cars, computers, doors, and telephones.--From publisher description.… (more)

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