The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things

by Donald A. Norman

Paperback(revised and expanded edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262525671
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 01/10/2014
Series: MIT Press Series
Edition description: revised and expanded edition
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

Business Week has named Don Norman one of the world's most influential designers. He has been both a professor and an executive: he was Vice President of Advanced Technology at Apple; his company, the Nielsen Norman Group, helps companies produce human-centered products and services; and he has been on the faculty at Harvard, the University of California, San Diego, Northwestern University, and KAIST, in South Korea. He is the author of many books, including The Design of Everyday Things, The Invisible Computer (MIT Press), Emotional Design, and The Design of Future Things.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Editionv
Prefaceix
1The Psychopathology of Everyday Things1
2The Psychology of Everyday Actions34
3Knowledge in the Head and in the World54
4Knowing What to Do81
5To Err Is Human105
6The Design Challenge141
7User-Centered Design187
Notes219
Suggested Readings237
References241
Index249

What People are Saying About This

Patrick Whitney

This book changed the field of design. As the pace of technological change accelerates, the principles in this book are increasingly important. The new examples and ideas about design and product development make it essential reading.

Tim Brown

Part operating manual for designers and part manifesto on the power of designing for people, The Design of Everyday Things is even more relevant today than it was when first published.

Endorsement

The cumulated insights and wisdom of the cross-disciplinary genius Donald Norman are a must for designers and a joy for those who are interested in artifacts and people.

Cees de Bont, Dean, School of Design, Chair Professor of Industrial Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

From the Publisher

Part operating manual for designers and part manifesto on the power of designing for people, The Design of Everyday Things is even more relevant today than it was when first published.

Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO, and author of Change by Design

This book changed the field of design. As the pace of technological change accelerates, the principles in this book are increasingly important. The new examples and ideas about design and product development make it essential reading.

Patrick Whitney, Dean, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology

The cumulated insights and wisdom of the cross-disciplinary genius Donald Norman are a must for designers and a joy for those who are interested in artifacts and people.

Cees de Bont, Dean, School of Design, Chair Professor of Industrial Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Cees de Bont

The cumulated insights and wisdom of the cross-disciplinary genius Donald Norman are a must for designers and a joy for those who are interested in artifacts and people.

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The Design of Everyday Things 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Norman argues that most "human error" is design error, that things should be as intuitively simple as possible, and that there should be safeguards against making serious errors. How reasonable! How intelligent! How rarely followed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I constantly find myself thinking about it, quoting it and recommending it to friends. Unfortunately, it can't be force-fed to all would-be designers, but it gives me ammunition and armor against their excuses.
bragan on LibraryThing 8 months ago
We've all had bad experiences with technology, from pulling fruitlessly on a door that we're actually meant to push, to being late for work because we hit the wrong button on the clock radio and accidentally unset the alarm, to spending a frustrating half-hour trying to figure out how to get a word processing program to format our paragraphs the way we want them. When things like that happen, most of us tend to blame ourselves first: "My brain just isn't working today", "I'm so mechanically inept," "I'm not good with computers." But Donald Norman suggests that we should be blaming ourselves less and the designers of these everyday technologies more. Good design, according to Norman, means usability, and that means working with the strengths and weaknesses of human psychology. Well-designed technologies, from doorknobs to computers, should follow certain basic principles. They should operate in ways that make sense to users and not give false impressions about how they work. They should provide feedback to make it clear what they are doing and what effect the user's actions have had. They should be easy to use correctly and difficult to use in ways that don't work. They shouldn't require the user to memorize tons of arbitrary information in order to do simple things. And they should be forgiving of mistakes; accidentally hitting the wrong switch should not lead to nuclear meltdown.Norman expresses these principles in a clear and readable style that's as user-friendly as the designs he advocates. He seems to have aimed this primarily at designers and businesspeople, but the writing is completely accessible and free from jargon -- he carefully defines the few specialized terms that he uses -- and is as appropriate and relevant to consumers as it is to producers. The book was originally published in 1988 (under the title The Psychology of Everyday Things), so the examples he uses are pretty dated, but the basic concepts are as valid now as they have ever been. If anything, it adds an extra dimension to the book to be able to look back after two decades of progress and consider which of Norman's design suggestions have become standard and which bad designs are still unhappily commonplace.One word of warning, though. I read one of Norman's later, follow-up books many years ago, in which he touches on some of the same basic ideas, and ever since I have been much less tolerant of the examples of bad design I encounter in my daily life. I'm also much more appreciative of the examples of good design, admittedly, but somehow there seem to be a lot fewer of those.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A splendid book. Well written and well argued. The author's premise is that 'form follows function' far too infrequently and he suggests some ways of improving things as well as giving some pointed (and often hilarious) criticism of contemporary design. It only misses a fifth star because it is a little over-long.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi. I'm a M.S. student in the dept. of STS (Sci & Tech Studies) at RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). I found this book on the bookshelf by chance and took a look at it, and WOW! Though this book was not the textbook I had to use (it was a textbook for other class), I bought it. You will find it quite interesting.