2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must read for Designers/Programmers
This book is important for two reasons: (a) it makes you realize that software design is not much different than any other kind of design, and (b) when you find it difficult to operate some device, it's really the designer's fault -- not yours!
The same ideas that have been used for years now in the design of simple things (e.g. doors), to complex stuff (e.g. nuclear...
Published on Aug. 20 2003 by Dimitrios Andreadis
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Slightly Repetitive, and Just A Little Dated
I read this book (1989 edition) in 2001 after reading a lot of good and excellent reviews of the book on Amazon. I got a copy from the library and read the book over a couple of days.
Let me say that this book is an excellent read for anyone who has either suffered through modern (VCR, computers) and not so modern contraptions (doors) as well as for those who...
Published on Oct. 16 2001 by Abhinav Agarwal
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5.0 out of 5 stars Today's review is brought to you by the letter U,
The Design of Everyday Things is the ultimate vehicle for translating usability design issues into everyday experiences. Once reading this book, one is no longer able to ignore the ergonomic, conceptual, and structural design flaws of everything from doors to complex information system interfaces. This book is clear and concise case-based information on how to recognize, diagnose, and design for usability in every arena. To the ever growing population of Information Systems and Web developers: you NEED this book for its insight on the human interaction experience; don't just develop an interface because you can- create a user-based system through the instruction of Don Norman's principles outlined in this book. Don Norman is a god!
5.0 out of 5 stars MANdatory reading...,
every wonder what moron designed this &%# (whatever)? [why in my Buick Regal do i push the shifter FORWARD to put the car in REVERSE? and BACK for DRIVE("forward")?] ever curse a faucet and it's designer, because not only is it needlessly unergonomic, but difficult to even figure out or remember how to use (or nearly impossible, once your hands are wet & soapy)? ...or a kitchen radio with three buttons which all do different things, but all look exactly alike --and are placed side-by-side? you'll be glad to know you're not alone. Donald Norman is my hero, bar none. if you thought no one has given any thought to the thought behind design, think again. informative, and entertaining.
2.0 out of 5 stars good rule of thumb information,
By A Customer
While in University, studying Industrial Design, I would have rated it a 4 .... now I rate it a 2. It is still the rarest example of litterature on human perception affecting design. It still is unique, but you will not need to read it more than once, it is likely not to become a reference in your bookshelf BUT it is exellent for university/college level reading and book report to anyone studying psychology and or design. The book is full of anecdotes and lessons. It would be best if accompanied with a good textbook on perception. Reading some Papanek in conjunction with a perception textbook and this book will result in some well intentioned Design creativity I'm sure.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for programmers and engineers alike!,
Norman does an excellent job of showing the reader that interface design is not simple a matter of putting a handle or some buttons on something. His in depth analysis of not only which interfaces are good or bad but why is an interesting and educational read for anyone who must create objects, devices, or interfaces that a person will interact with. The language is easy to understand and not heavily technical but still remains interesting. His examples are not specific to computer interfaces but to many different kinds of devices - telephones, light switches, etc. An excellent book for readers of any level - student or teacher, from junior high on up.
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST for product & tech designers, NOT graphic designers,
Norman's work is THE book to start reading if you are 1) developing ANY kind of technology (e.g., web page, software program, etc.), or 2) beginning any tangible product design.
The book is easy reading, contains some key design concepts and is fun. It is not for artists or graphic designers. And for those who think that it is "rudimentary", just look at the products being designed today: car stereo buttons that you cannot reach, drink holders on car doors (don't slam that door), and VCRs that people cannot program.
This is the kind of book that you should hand out to everyone in your IT department for the Holidays.
3.0 out of 5 stars I am glad to have read it, even though the reading was dull.,
This is actually a really bizarre book, in that it is as much an autobiography of Dr Norman's experiences in his own home as it is about design. Dr Norman is like the Charlotte Bronte of engineering -- although appaerently trapped in his own little world, he manages to discover universal truths that are relevant way beyond it.
Don't be confused: this is a rather tiresome book to read, as Dr Norman evaluates the design and usability of taps, light-switches, telephones and door handles (lots of door handles), but in a cosmic sense, worthwhile.
In short: I am glad to have read it, even though the reading was pretty dull.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Usability and Design,
A number of reviewers have made points about the end notes. I corresponded with Professor Norman on this subject. He informed me that more people comment on the usability (or lack thereof) of the endnotes than of any other aspect of the book. Having said that, don't let this design error interfere with the great content.
This book is not for people with strong backgrounds in usability and design. It is an excellent introduction and overview. Prof. Norman makes many great points which were new to me because I hadn't studied these concepts before. If you design anything and you haven't studied usability, get this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Universal Examples of Good (and Bad) Design,
When I started my first job out of college I was given a copy of this book by my boss. Since then, I've had a chance to do GUI design for the web as well as client/server applications. This book has proven invaluable. It completely changed the way I thought about design and usability. The examples given show how everything can (and should) be made more usable... every time I turn on the wrong burner on my stove, or pull on a door I should be pushing I curse the designer who should have read this. The examples may not be specifically about computer user interface design, but the lessons learned are directly applicable.
3.0 out of 5 stars Design is an underappreciated skill,
This review is from: The Design of Everyday Things (Paperback)
We all go through life frustrated by stupid design of everyday things. This book reassures you that you're not cracking up, and that there are others out there who feel the same way.
However, the book is now 15 years old, so many of the examples quoted seem very quaint, and the photographs seem even older - like scenes from the earliest 'James Bond' movies.
There needs to be a more upto date view of good/bad design - design principles are not immortal - what was good yesterday might not be any good for tomorrow - eg what was good in a black & white world might be irrelevant in a colour world.
5.0 out of 5 stars Opens your eyes to the usability problems of everyday life,
This book is fun for anyone: regardless whether you are an interested usability novice or a full-featured cognitive psychologist.
It demonstrates the good and the bad in usability design, it shows potential solutions to everyday problems and tells many great stories about usability adventurues the author has experienced.
After reading this book, you will become 'aware' like never before. It opens your eyes to the disasterous usability problems that surround us and how to correct them (if you are developing a product).
You won't regret it if you buy this book; it's a classic in its genre.
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The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman (Paperback - Sept. 19 2002)
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