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Design of Everyday Things Paperback – Feb 1 1990

4.2 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Paperback, Feb 1 1990
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Business; Reissue edition (Feb. 1 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385267746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385267748
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 13.8 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #910,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Anyone who designs anything to be used by humans--from physical objects to computer programs to conceptual tools--must read this book, and it is an equally tremendous read for anyone who has to use anything created by another human. It could forever change how you experience and interact with your physical surroundings, open your eyes to the perversity of bad design and the desirability of good design, and raise your expectations about how things should be designed.

Review

"This book is a joy -- fun and of the utmost importance." -- Tom Peters.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
great for artists, designers, programmers, architects, actually pretty much anyone who has an interest in they way things work, creative process, and design.
This challenges the notion of lazy design, and goes against the issue of designing things the same way becuase that's the way it's always been done. Rewinds the design process and starts over. Shows design flubs and goes through the thought process and the intentions behind them. VERY interesting book, love the photographs and diagrams.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Norman has written a great 'big picture' book on design. It deals with the concepts of design through example, and in no specific way. The ideas can be applied to any type of design, and he explains the logic behind such examples and ideas so that they make sense.

The book is clearly illustrated, and quite interesting to read, I think because so many of the examples are simple things, everyday things, and things that have come and gone throughout many readers' pop-culture life spans. It doesn't seem to me a book merely for designers, but for anyone. It's full of logical advice on the topic of creating things. Design is like rhetoric or syntax...anything we create has to be created in some way. And the way has a quality...knowing about 'big picture' design can help raise that quality.
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Format: Paperback
Okay, the guy makes his points rather well. But there are a few things about this book that I found very frustrating.
He keeps jumping around between plain text and italics. Some headings are all in caps, some are not. Some headings are left justified, some right justified. I'm sure there's a meaningful structure to this in the author's own mind, but when you can only see two pages at a time it's impossible for the reader to see what that structure is. Big headings and smaller subheadings would be a better layout, with the anecdotes in a blockquote format rather than the off-putting italics. The author really needs to practice a bit of what he preaches.
Also, it could use an update. For example there's this paragraph that promises that within five years we'll have a handheld device that will allow us to keep track of appointments, take notes etc. 10 out of 10 for accurate prediction of the PDA, but it's time to update the text. Then the photos are pretty old as well. Makes it look like the book hasn't changed since the early 80s and left me wondering if he's aware of the design of modern everyday things or the fact that computer users are better educated now than they used to be, or if he knows that user interfaces have improved at all.
I think that the original title, the Psychology of Everyday Things would have been a more accurate title for the book since a lot of time is spent describing the minute details of human thought. Maybe a subtitle would be in order, something like "What designers need to know about the psychology of consumers."
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Format: Paperback
Don Norman's POET (this book was initially called Psychology of Everyday Things) is a required text in many human-machine interaction programs around the world for a good reason: it is a wonderfully accessible (to novices), yet comprehensive primer on ergonomics covering topics ranging from conceptual models and mappings to memory and errors.
Don applies a plethora of cognitive psychology principles to explain why some devices just don't work well for us, humans, while others--those designed with the human in mind--do. If you are a student of human-computer interaction you can easily apply Norman's concepts in designing more usable GUI's. In fact, I have used this book as a foundation for the first chapter of my own web interface design book, at Paul gokin dot com, in which I have applied many of Norman's design principle to web GUI design.
What makes this book special, however, is that Norman supports his points with vivid real world examples, transforming what could be a dull, scholarly treatise into a page-turner. In fact it is the examples that had stayed with me for years after I put the book down.
Regardless of what your design challenge is, if you're designing it to be used by a human, this book is a must read.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book because I saw the author on TechTV and because I thought it sounded interesting. Please excuse the colloquial form of this review because I feel it gives the most insight about the book! I started reading this book and found it quite interesting. Although some topics were a little "over my head" so to speak I think I am able to convey the general nature of the book. It talks about different aspects that are critical to good usability in design. It often used bad examples of design to show how they could have been created better. In its thorough explanation of the spatial relation of objects to their buttons I found it interesting that light switches could be arranged so that there wouldn't be a mystery as to what light they turned on. It also talked about how usability is often given up to other details such as manufacturability and aesthetics. It is a comprehensive resource for information regarding the design of products or systems that are easy to use. The pictures are somewhat outdated as mentioned in an other review. Also color pictures would have been nice although they drive publication costs to a higher price. Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the inner workings of products and the philosophy behind the usability of these products!
-9th Grade Student (2002)-
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