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The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition Paperback – November 5, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 176 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Choice
“Even classics can be updated and improved… Highly recommended.”

“This book changed the field of design. As the pace of technological change accelerates, the principles in this book are increasingly important. The new examples and ideas about design and product development make it essential reading.”—Patrick Whitney, Dean, Institute of Design, and Steelcase/Robert C. Pew Professor of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology

“Twenty-five years ago The Design of Everyday Things was instrumental in orienting my approach to design. With this latest revised and expanded edition, Don Norman has given me a host of new ideas to explore as well as reminding me of the fundamental principles of great and meaningful design. Part operating manual for designers and part manifesto on the power of designing for people, The Design of Everyday Things is even more relevant today than it was when first published.”—Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO, and author of Change by Design

“Norman enlightened me when I was a student of psychology decades ago and he continues to inspire me as a professor of design. His new book underpins all essential aspects of interaction design, the mother of human creation. It equips designers to make the world a safer, more pleasant and more exciting place. The cumulated insights and wisdom of the cross-disciplinary genius Donald Norman are a must for designers and a joy for those who are interested in artifacts and people.”—Cees de Bont, Dean, School of Design, and Chair Professor of Industrial Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

About the Author

Don Norman is co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, an executive consulting firm that helps companies produce human-centered products and services. He is Breed Professor of Design Emeritus at Northwestern University and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, where he was founding chair of the Department of Cognitive Science and chair of the Department of Psychology. He has served as Vice President of Apple Computer's Advanced Technology Group, and his many books include "Emotional Design," "The Design of Future Things," and most recently, "Living with Complexity."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Rev Exp edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465050654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465050659
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally I got a chance to read this amazing book. Don Norman treats design very methodically and shows that good design is not a black box but something even more analytical people can understand and apply.
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.
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Format: Paperback
The good:

All three stars I'm giving this are for the content. Norman's insights and principles are worthwhile and very useful. I don't agree with all of them, but most of them seem sound and the ones that don't still bring up good points to discuss.

The bad:

I wish an editor could convince him to cut this book in half. It's obvious that Norman is a academic and has been for a long time. He has that thing, that ivory tower myopia that comes off as pompous and self congratulatory. I had a really hard time wading through his never ending stories in the service of simple points. GET TO THE POINT, MAN. He also uses psychological terms that are terrible to try and parse (associative activation error? Are you kidding me? How about we call that the "ring ring, come in" error, so maybe people can remember it.) It's surprising that a book about design is so poorly designed on so many levels. Part of that is because this edition is an Amazon print on demand, and the layout sucks. Good lessons in here about how NOT to layout text. Part of it is also up to Norman, though. He likes using italics, I think as asides or illustrations of a point, but it's not consistent, and really just why, man? Why do that? Accept the cultural constraints of typography.

tl;dr

My advice is to read the last chapter, which is a nice succinct roundup of all the main points. If you want more information on any topic, look back through the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some good information here, but the author suffers from an overabundance of 'completeness' in explanation. The author is clearly an authority on the topic of human interaction and design, and can go on endlessly about common mistakes made by designers. But you may find yourself skimming through much of the information as you find many pages are taken to make fairly simple or obvious points.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition by Don Norman

“The Design of Everyday Things” is a very good sequel to the first edition of this book, “The Psychology of Everyday Things” published in 1988. In this informative and enjoyable edition, educator and cognitive engineer, Don Norman provides readers with an interesting look at what constitutes good design. An advocate for user-centered design this is a helpful introduction to the world of design. This enlightening 370-page book includes the following seven chapters: 1. The Psychopathology of Everyday Things, 2. The Psychology of Everyday Actions, 3. Knowledge in the Head and in the World, 4. Knowing What to Do: Constraints Discoverability, and Feedback, 5. Human Error? No, Bad Design, 6. Design Thinking, and 7. Design in the World of Business.

Positives:
1. An accessible and well-researched book. Excellent resource for professionals in the field but intended for all to enjoy.
2. The interesting topic of design in everyday products.
3. Don Norman’s credentials are outstanding and his mastery of the topic is manifested from his astute observations based on experiences in engineering, cognitive science and business. “My experiences in industry have taught me about the complexities of the real world, how cost and schedules are critical, the need to pay attention to competition, and the importance of multidisciplinary teams.”
4. A very good format. The book starts with a clear preface on where the book is going to take you.
5. Good use of tables and charts to complement the narrative.
6. Throughout the book there is an emphasis on what constitutes good design. It all starts with asking the right questions and Norman does a wonderful job of that.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For a book on usability, I was stunned by how poorly the core concepts are expressed. The author has clearly done research, and knows what he's talking about, but is so busy with meandering stories that it is hard to pull out the important information. I'm actually enjoying, "The Inmates Are Running The Asylum," much more.
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