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Psychology Of Everyday Things [Hardcover]

Donald A. Norman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.12
Price: £18.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Jun 1988
Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure our which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this fascinating, ingenious--even liberating--book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology.The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization. The book presents examples aplenty--among them, the VCR, computer, and office telephone, all models of how not to design for people.But good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time. But the designer must care.The author is a world-famous psychologist and pioneer in the application of cognitive science. His aim is to raise the consciousness of both consumers and designers to the delights of products that are easy to use and understand.

Frequently Bought Together

Psychology Of Everyday Things + Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
Price For Both: £26.49

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (13 Jun 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465067093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465067091
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Donald A. Norman is Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, a former "Apple Fellow," and a partner in the Nielsen Norman Group Consulting Firm, which consults with corporations on design. He is the author of a number of books on design, including Emotional Design and the best-selling The Design of Everyday Things. He lives in Northbrook, Illinois and Palo Alto, California.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"You would need an engineering degree from MIT to work this," someone once told me, shaking his head in puzzlement over his brand new digital watch. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic. 14 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Same book as the paperback "The Design of Everyday Things". Just as good a book under either title. (You'll find more reviews of it under the other title.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for all industrial designers 6 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book should be a pre-requisite for all entering students in industrial design or at least a textbook for a class in human factors/ergonomics. That it is so enjoyable to read for non-designers is a plus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book breaks through the ergonomics enlightment barrier. There is now NO excuse for overtly anti-user design. Except that the ideas appear so obvious after reading that cynics will continue to trivialise usability as cosmetic. Essential reading for Designers, Programmers, Engineers, Architects and a lot more besides.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
...so don't buy them both.

Anyway, should be required reading in high school by all humans in who build or use designed things.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about your brain not your taps 11 April 2002
Format:Hardcover
...This book has very little if anything to do with software design, or even door handle to tap design. These examples are given purely to demonstrate what the book is really about, which the Design of the human brain. Although he talks a lot about the physical objects around us, he continually refers back to why the objects are the way they are and how the human brain makes decisions about how it will interact will them. He is trying to explain that the design of objects does not exist in isolation. An object is not in itself functional. It becomes functional when it begins to interact with its surroundings, and that interaction is frequently with humans. As well as interacting physically with objects, human must interact psychologically with them, although this psychological is frequently (and often should be) sub conscious. Understanding the nature of these subconscious psychological interaction with our surrounding's is what this book is about, and it's very interesting, often amusing, and despite the dodgy 1970's photos, it will be timeless.
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