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The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

Book Description

Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious—even liberating—book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization. The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.

In this entertaining and insightful analysis, cognitive scientist Don Norman hails excellence of design as the most important key to regaining the competitive edge in influencing consumer behavior. Now fully expanded and updated, with a new introduction by the author, The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how—and why—some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Preface to the Revised Edition
  7. 1 The Psychopathology of Everyday Things
    1. The Complexity of Modern Devices
    2. Human-Centered Design
    3. Fundamental Principles of Interaction
    4. The System Image
    5. The Paradox of Technology
    6. The Design Challenge
  8. 2 The Psychology of Everyday Actions
    1. How People Do Things: The Gulfs of Execution and Evaluation
    2. The Seven Stages of Action
    3. Human Thought: Mostly Subconscious
    4. Human Cognition and Emotion
    5. The Seven Stages of Action and the Three Levels of Processing
    6. People as Storytellers
    7. Blaming the Wrong Things
    8. Falsely Blaming Yourself
    9. The Seven Stages of Action: Seven Fundamental Design Principles
  9. 3 Knowledge in the Head and in the World
    1. Precise Behavior from Imprecise Knowledge
    2. Memory Is Knowledge in the Head
    3. The Structure of Memory
    4. Approximate Models: Memory in the Real World
    5. Knowledge in the Head
    6. The Tradeoff Between Knowledge in the World and in the Head
    7. Memory in Multiple Heads, Multiple Devices
    8. Natural Mapping
    9. Culture and Design: Natural Mappings Can Vary with Culture
  10. 4 Knowing What to Do: Constraints Discoverability, and Feedback
    1. Four Kinds of Constraints: Physical, Cultural, Semantic, and Logical
    2. Applying Affordances, Signifiers, and Constraints to Everyday Objects
    3. Constraints That Force the Desired Behavior
    4. Conventions, Constraints, and Affordances
    5. The Faucet: A Case History of Design
    6. Using Sound as Signifiers
  11. 5 Human Error? No, Bad Design
    1. Understanding Why There Is Error
    2. Deliberate Violations
    3. Two Types of Errors: Slips and Mistakes
    4. The Classification of Slips
    5. The Classification of Mistakes
    6. Social and Institutional Pressures
    7. Reporting Error
    8. Detecting Error
    9. Designing for Error
    10. When Good Design Isn’t Enough
    11. Resilience Engineering
    12. The Paradox of Automation
    13. Design Principles for Dealing with Error
  12. 6 Design Thinking
    1. Solving the Correct Problem
    2. The Double-Diamond Model of Design
    3. The Human-Centered Design Process
    4. What I Just Told You? It Doesn’t Really Work That Way
    5. The Design Challenge
    6. Complexity Is Good; It Is Confusion That Is Bad
    7. Standardization and Technology
    8. Deliberately Making Things Difficult
    9. Design: Developing Technology for People
  13. 7 Design in the World of Business
    1. Competitive Forces
    2. New Technologies Force Change
    3. How Long Does It Take to Introduce a New Product?
    4. Two Forms of Innovation: Incremental and Radical
    5. The Design of Everyday Things: 1988–2038
    6. The Future of Books
    7. The Moral Obligations of Design
    8. Design Thinking and Thinking About Design
  14. Acknowledgments
  15. General Readings and Notes
  16. References
  17. Index