The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman is a classic. The book is focused on, not surprisingly, the design process. I read the revised and expanded version.

There is a good reason that this one is a classic. It is very thoughtful about how things are designed. I viewed this as someone who designs learning opportunities. Several times Mr. Norman points out that when we can’t do something easily, it is usually not our fault. It is the fault of bad design.

Websites and programs are pretty famous for bad design. Those who make them frequently call out the errors of the user. If the user had only followed this path, things would’ve worked out. I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve used many websites that made total sense once I understood more about what was needed and what was happening. However, getting to that understanding was frequently hard fought and only possible because of other knowledge that I possess. “Regular” users don’t stand much of a chance.

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