You are previewing The Design of Everyday Things.

The Design of Everyday Things

Cover of The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman Published by Basic Books
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“Norman Doors”

“I just found a Norman door: It was really difficult to open.”

I am famous for doors that are difficult to open, light switches that make no sense, shower controls that are unfathomable. Almost anything that creates unnecessary problems, my correspondents report, is a “Norman thing”: Norman doors, Norman switches, Norman shower controls.

That wasn’t what I had in mind when I wrote this book. I thought my ideas would stand for good design, for objects we could use easily and efficiently—with delight and fun. And without having to read complex instructions or ask for help. Sigh. All those years spent studying fundamental principles of the human mind, of memory and attention, learning, motor control—only ...

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