Donald Norman The Design of Everyday Things

 

Working from the assumption that design is an act of communication between designer and user and that in Western cultlure we live among objects of desire rather than objects of use, in The Design of Everyday Things, Norman focuses on helping his readers design objects that are understandable and usable.  Good designs he claims provide a good conceptual model and make things visible on side of action and evaluation.  As a cognitive scientist, Normal explains that whereas traditionally cognition was thought to be logical, rational, and orderly, cognition is now more or less envisioned as a connection or large web of neural processes.  Thus knowledge is acquired less by logical functioning than it is by associating patterns and information.  In order to create a good design, designers need to know how individuals will try to make associations to figure out how a product operates. Therefore, in order to make a good, user-centered design, designers should make sure user can figure out what to do and tell what is going on.  

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