Donald A. Norman's Blog

January 4, 2015

The design of human-computer systems used to focus upon the negative, the breakdowns that confused and confounded people. Now it is time to move to the next level, to focus upon the positive, systems that are enjoyable and pleasurable.

We need systems that delight as well as inform, systems that create pleasure along with useful function. We need systems that are resilient, that promote control, understanding, and sometimes just plain pleasure. The design field has responded by examining the role of emotions and pleasure in design. We need to move these findings into mainstream computing.
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on January 04, 2015 10:16 • 13 views

December 25, 2014

Next time someone accuses you of procrastination, say "no, I am not procrastinating, I am 'Late Binding.' " That should shut them up.

Let me argue for late binding - delay, or if you like, procrastination - as a preferred way of life. Delaying decisions until the time for action is beneficial for lots of reason. Practice late binding. Planning never produces the exact answer for the exact conditions that take place. People always will change their behavior. In fact, people have no choice when unexpected events occur. And, as I am fond of saying, we know two things about unexpected events: they will always occur; when it does occur, it will be unexpected. So prepare. Study. Get ready. But delay the actual decision as late as possible. Procrastinate. Practice late binding.
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 25, 2014 11:40 • 44 views
The technological requirements for self-driving cars are extremely complex, and although we are now able to succeed in a very high percentage of the situations, those last few percentages contain the most difficult, the most daunting challenges. As automation gets better and better, then the problems of vigilance increase, for the more reliable the system, the less for a person to do, and the mind wandering begins.

Do not take people out of the loop: have them always know what is happening. How do we do this in a meaningful way? By asking people to make high-level decisions, to continually be making decisions.

Human pattern recognition and high-level statement of goals and plans are good. But here is what we are bad at: the ability to monitor for long periods, to be precise and accurate, to respond quickly and properly when an unexpected event arrives where the person has not been attending. So, have us do what we are good at. Have the automation do what we are bad at. Aim for collaboration, not supervision.
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 25, 2014 10:21 • 2 views

December 14, 2014

I am pleased to announce that Diversion Books has released my book of essays, Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles, as an inexpensive eBook: US $4.99. Available in multiple formats, including Kindle, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google (MOBI and EPUB).
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 14, 2014 10:45 • 26 views
I am pleased to announce that Diversion Books has released Things That Make Us Smart as an inexpensive eBook: US $4.99. Available in multiple formats, including Kindle, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google (MOBI and EPUB).
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 14, 2014 10:25 • 9 views

December 13, 2014

"Why DesignX" answers common questions about DesignX. In particular, What is new? What is the role of the designer? What about craft skills?
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 13, 2014 13:42 • 26 views

December 2, 2014

DesignX is a new, evidence-based approach for addressing many of the complex and serious problems facing the world today. It adds to and augments today's design methods, reformulating the role that design can play. Modern design has grown from a focus on products and services to a robust set of methods that is applicable to a wide range of societal issues. When combined with the knowledge and expertise of specialized disciplines, these design methods provide powerful ways to develop practical approaches to large, complex issues. We seek a radical reformation of design practice, education, and research. It is time for a new era of design activism.
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 02, 2014 18:18 • 17 views

November 9, 2014

One way to understand what future events might await us is to develop elaborate, complete scenarios of what life might be like as a result of new designs, inventions, and technologies. It isn't enough to describe the potential technologies: the scenario must illustrate how it might be used in everyday life, examining the implications that result. The purpose of this note is to recommend two recent books that expand upon the genre:
Adrian Hon's "A History of the Future in 100 Objects" and Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway's "The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future"
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on November 09, 2014 13:12 • 16 views

September 20, 2014

LG. get your act together. Every so often I can't stop myself from complaining. This is one of those every so oftens. No visibility. Insufficient tactile differentiation among the controls. No labeling of which side is right and which left which matters, both because these are stereo earphones and because the identical looking and feeling buttons do different things on the two sides of the device.

Manuals that use incredibly tiny type small type in gray on a black background. Badly written as well, but we have come to take that as standard. Usually we can figure things out anyway by playing with the controls. Not these controls. They are invisible in use (deliberate), but with insufficient tactile distinction, with the left controls identical to the right one, but doing different things, and no way of knowing which is left and which right, so on each usage, they will vary randomly.
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on September 20, 2014 17:01 • 33 views

September 10, 2014

I'm delighted to show a demo of our food start-up, Palate Home, to TechCrunch.
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on September 10, 2014 19:02 • 22 views

Donald A. Norman's Blog

Donald A. Norman
Donald A. Norman isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but he does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from his feed.
Follow Donald A. Norman's blog with rss.