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The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition by Don Norman

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CHAPTER TWO

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF EVERYDAY ACTIONS

          During my family’s stay in England, we rented a furnished house while the owners were away. One day, our landlady returned to the house to get some personal papers. She walked over to the old, metal filing cabinet and attempted to open the top drawer. It wouldn’t open. She pushed it forward and backward, right and left, up and down, without success. I offered to help. I wiggled the drawer. Then I twisted the front panel, pushed down hard, and banged the front with the palm of one hand. The cabinet drawer slid open. “Oh,” she said, “I’m sorry. I am so bad at mechanical things.” No, she had it backward. It is the mechanical thing that should be apologizing, perhaps saying, “I’m sorry. ...

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