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The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition Paperback – Illustrated, November 5, 2013
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 13.1 ounces
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780465050659
- ISBN-13 : 978-0465050659
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.33 inches
- Publisher : Basic Books; Revised edition (November 5, 2013)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0465050654
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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To summarize, I find this book weak regarding the validity of it since it's just one person's opinion, it creates the experience of just listening to someone complains about everything, and doesn't leave me feeling like I'm learning any useful design skills.
Developers love this book, because it's good (duh!) and also because it comes with recommendations from several luminaries in the field, most notably Jeff Atwood, the co-founder of StackOverflow. I'm no exception. It helped shift my focus from making software that does its job well, to making software that helps its users do their jobs well. It explains in very simple terms why you should care about how users experience and interact with the things you make and how to start thinking about making their interactions more satisfying and rewarding. It also walks you through the typical interaction cycle, from the idea of action that user wants to perform, to the interpretation of feedback they receive; it is a tremendous help when you are trying to 'debug' the interactions and figure out the exact reason why users find your design distracting, irritating or counter-intuitive.
There are sections clarifying the terms you might have heard elsewhere but don't know exactly what they mean (A/B testing, root cause analysis, iterative vs. waterfall approach) or how they might help you improve your design. There is a particularly illuminating chapter explaining why fridge controls and stove controls (among many other things) come in so many different and incompatible designs, how companies are trying to solve this problem with standardization and why standards sometimes create more problems than they solve.
What else? It's also short, well-written and entertaining. The jokes are rare, poignant, and usually delivered with a deadpan snark. To give you an example,
"The typewriter was a radical innovation that had a dramatic impact upon office and home writing. It helped provide a role for women in offices as typists and secretaries, which led to the redefinition of the job of secretary to be a dead end rather than the first step toward an executive position".
To summarize: buy this book if you want to know more about design in general and/or become a better designer to complement your other skills. Don't buy this book if you expect a huge how-to manual or a cookbook aimed at experienced designers.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
All I'm saying is... maybe buy the paperback version instead.
The book is very well known and you can search for the author's videos to give you an overview of what this book is about. Makes you think and definitely a good starting point if you want to learn more about design