Cover by Donald Norman

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PREFACE TO THE 2002 EDITION

“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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