The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

By: Don Norman

The most intelligent of us can sometimes feel inadequate when we struggle to determine whether to push, pull, or slide a door or figuring out which light switch controls a certain light. The fault, according to this original and sometimes even emancipating work, lies not with us, but in archaic product design that tends to disregard the needs of customers, or users, and the values of cognitive psychology.

The glitches stem from vague and veiled controls with uncertain relations concerning controls and their functions. A lack of feedback, or other forms of help, plus irrational demands on memorization can be responsible for creating a few of these problems. The Design of Everyday Things shows that respectable, practical design is undoubtedly possible. According the Norman, the rules are simple: you must make things easily visible, work to pair the natural relationships that couple function and control to your product, and make intelligent use of the natural limits. The goal should be to guide your desired user painlessly towards the desired action on the desired control in the desired moment.

This amusing and astute analysis from cognitive scientist Donald A. Norman hails distinction in design as the vital key of gaining or regaining a competitive edge as you look to influence customer performance. The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful reader on how, when, and why some products gratify customers while others only cause them feelings of aggravation.

Buy it here.