The Design of Everyday Things

From The Jolly Contrarian
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Jolly Contrarian’s book review service™


Jcbookshelf.jpg

The JC’s Book Club Library — Click the ᐅ to expand:

Get in touch
Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Requests? Sign up for our newsletter? Questions? We’d love to hear from you.
BREAKING: Get the new weekly newsletter here Old editions here

The Design of Everyday Things - Don Norman
Don Norman is one of the founding fathers of design thinking. He first published The Design of Everyday Things in 1988 under the title The Psychology of Everyday Things. It has been recently updated and, by the sounds of things, rewritten heavily to take account of the digital age where clearly the parameters of design have been greatly modified by touchscreens, Bluetooth and the like. I read it mainly for insights into legal document design, where those modern conveniences aren’t quite so germane (at least until we start talking about smart contracts I suppose).

Affordances
Signifiers
Mapping
Feedback

User-centered design involves simplifying the structure of tasks, making things visible, getting the mapping right, exploiting the powers of constraint, designing for error, explaining affordances


What is interesting, on a second read, is how closely it gels with more recent contiguous thinking in normal accident theory, systems theory and behavioural economics