Stringy's Reviews > The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
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really liked it
bookshelves: design-and-development

A classic for a reason. The examples are dated, but if you still remember rotary dial telephones (maybe over 30 years of age?) you'll be fine with them. Since Norman more or less predicts iPhones and iPads in this book, I'd love to read an update chapter from him in the next edition.

The principles are still accurate and useful, and Norman makes a solid case for why my inability to get through doorways safely is actually the fault of the manufacturers. People using products are busy, they have their mind on other things, and they can't read the mind of the designer. Therefore, if you're in any way responsible for making a product for other people to use, it's worth your while to take a look at how to embed the knowledge of how to use it within the object itself.

Norman covers some of the techniques for this, but you can get that in many other user-experience and design books with more up-to-date examples. What I found most valuable was his way of taking a fresh look at everyday objects, really observing what happens when we use them and wanting to find a way to smooth that path. In future I'll be trying to do the same.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 1, 2011 – Finished Reading
September 18, 2011 – Shelved
September 27, 2011 – Shelved as: design-and-development

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Jaki This is part of why edition really matters for this book -- the 2013 one is a lot less dated than the earlier ones, I think.


Stringy Yes, I've heard it's very good - I'll have to get hold of it!


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