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Hachette Book Group
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The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It runs out of steam about halfway through, but the writing is good enough to carry it along to the end. If you're and engineer by trade, it's worth a read to get a better handle on how people will interact with your engineering. A designer could probably pass on it, though.
There are many important lessons but I found the concepts of discoverability, affordance, signifiers, feedbacks, mappings and constraints a simple, yet a powerful model to understand design.
I am not a designer by a far stretch but I can now appreciate good vs bad design with a deeper understanding of the designer's intent in building something. Even of design is not your field, you will greatly benefit from the book and you will realize that design is not just a touchy feely topic.
Although, I would have to say that for a design book, the images are not printed very well (in the paper back edition). And the during introducing the core concepts, in the first chapter, the author forgot to include 'constraints'. Also the order of these terms keep changing though out the book. This does not align well with the mapping concept the author so strongly professes.
However, now that this edition is out, don't get the previous version, since this one has far more relevant examples including hand held devices. As an additional resource, there is also a design course on udacity offered by Don Norman.
The explanations of the psychology behind product interaction are, to me, poorly organized and explained. Further, if you've read any psychology or behavioral economics before, there's little to be learned here.
Finally, the writing itself is fairly poor. I read nonfiction almost exclusively, so I don't think it's the technical nature of the content; it's just not very engaging. The personal anecdotes, as other reviews have noted, often feel forced and a little self-congratulatory. A better editor would have helped, too. There were quite a few instances of small annoyances such as using "less" where "fewer" was needed, or an overabundance of "as a result" towards the end.
I'd recommend reading it, but not spending too much time doing so. A quick read will provide just as much use as a more careful reading.
P.S. If you enjoy this book, I would recommend a podcast called 99% Invisible that is produced by Roman Mars.
The one who reads it is at risk to forget what was told at the beginning of a chapter when he gets to the end of it. I think if the book was 75% shorter, it would be a better value. This is why it got just 3 stars. But this is just my personal preference.
Anyway, I would recommend to read it.
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