Trade in Yours
For a 2.35 Gift Card
Trade in
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Design of Everyday Things [Paperback]

Don Norman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback 9.06  
Paperback, 29 Aug 2002 --  
MP3 CD, Audiobook 17.71  
Trade In this Item for up to 2.35
Trade in The Design of Everyday Things for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 2.35, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more
There is a newer edition of this item:
The Design of Everyday Things The Design of Everyday Things
Currently unavailable

Book Description

29 Aug 2002
First, businesses discovered quality as a key competitive edge; next came service. Now, Donald A. Norman, former Director of the Institute for Cognitive Science at the University of California, reveals how smart design is the new competitive frontier. The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how--and why--some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1st Basic Paperback edition (29 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780465067107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465067107
  • ASIN: 0465067107
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.3 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"Norman... makes a strong case for the needlessness of badlyconceived and badly designed everyday objects... [T]his book mayherald the beginning of a change in user habits and expectations, achange that manufacturers would be obliged to respond to. Buttonpushers of the world, unite." Los Angeles Times --Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

This is the only updated edition, and the only one to include Don Norman's brand new introduction.

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
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Design made easy. 3 May 1999
By A Customer
You read this book and then you think aha! - thats why I have trouble with my door/kettle/car. Norman manages to inform the reader with interesting examples, backed up by years of research.
One of the easiest ways to sell good design and usability is by showing people what happens if you don't invest enough time and resources. This book provides ample ammunition to any designers who are confronted with clients who require educating, as well as a design solution.
Why not 5 stars? - well, the book could be longer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
An enlightening and often entertaining critique on the inadaquacies of designed objects and systems based on the seminal "The Psychology of Everyday Things" (1988). Norman is scathing of design which is not user centred unleasing exceptional scorn on the designers of door handles and light switches. Even these simple systems are poorly designed, he argues, so how are users expected to operate infinitely more complex systems?
Norman exposes some simple guidelines for ensuring usable design which make one wonder why they appear to be so frequently ignored in comtemporary design.
This book is not only a must for design students, it is essential for even senior designers and managers involved with design.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but dated 19 April 2006
By Haeg
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's an exceptional book, so why have I given it only 4 stars?

Certainly not the books fault, but this book does tend to get recommended to students as the definitive book for software interface design.

The book is quite dated, being just a renamed reprint of 1989 book "The Psychology of Everyday Things", identical content, except with a new foreword.

The insight into the flawed design of everyday objects is amazing, but could have been so much better if instead of just updating the foreword new chapters were added dealing with modern issues (computers, satellite tv, mobile phones, etc).

Reading this book will still make high tech designers better, but don't expect it to be as relevant to you as it was to your lecturer who read it 17 years ago.
Was this review helpful to you?
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This was recommended reading in my undergrad psychology course, and it has changed my life. After reading this book I decided to continue research into usability. I am now at the end of my doctorate in Human Computer Interaction and loving it...
most of my undergraduate colleagues who decided on a different career path, still rate this book as one of their favorites!... you will never look at the world in the same way after you have read this book... it is truly inspiring...
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about your brain, not your taps 11 April 2002
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Finding Problems with Everyday Things 22 Dec 2003
This book was a required textbook for design module in my BSc course. It's a very interesting read, and you'll enjoy Mr Norman's examples and explanations of why some things work well and others don't. He explains many design principles such as 'mapping' and 'feedback', and their importance is made made apparent though his many examples and case studies. In general the content of the book is very relevant.
The tone of the book, unfortunately, is very negative. Admittedly, it is easier to find problems than impart praise. It is nevertheless better to teach via good examples. Mr Norman seems to get great pleasure from pointing out when some appliance doesn't meet one of his principles. Perhaps he's still bitter about a bad childhood experience with a badly designed toaster...
Although the content is revelant, it is not well organised. There should at least be a distinct section of the book dedicated to each principle. Instead, the author introduces some principles in point form, and others elsewhere in the text. This makes studying especially difficult, as you spend much of your time making sure you've found all the revelant principles.
For a book on design, I am dissapointed to see that it is more difficult to use than it should be. Mr Norman, as per your request on the last line of the book, here's a weed 0>-,'--
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Design is an underappreciated skill 18 Oct 2003
By Keith Appleyard VINE VOICE
We all go through life frustrated by stupid design of everyday things. This book reassures you that you're not cracking up, and that there are others out there who feel the same way.
However, the book is now 15 years old, so many of the examples quoted seem very quaint, and the photographs seem even older - like scenes from the earliest 'James Bond' movies.
There needs to be a more upto date view of good/bad design - design principles are not immortal - what was good yesterday might not be any good for tomorrow - eg what was good in a black & white world might be irrelevant in a colour world.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 1 month ago by Irene Whelan
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody in design, engineering or development should miss this book!
I highly recommend reading this to avoid daft and lasting mistakes - the book has a damning phrase "he probably won an award for that". Read more
Published 4 months ago by Daniel J. Staple
5.0 out of 5 stars Changes how you see things
'The Design of Everyday Things' is a must have book, that changes how you percept the world around you.

It's easy enough to read and very rewarding.
Published 4 months ago by Luis
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you reconsider
One of those fantastic books that makes you re-consider everything around you: Why do things look the way they do - and most importantly - why are some things easier to use than... Read more
Published 4 months ago by
4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for IT degree
Being a specified text book for degree course I expected it to be heavy going but quite the contrary! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Farfield
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book to help people understand good design and usability
I really like this book, even though it is a bit outdated.

I love the mindset and the thinking of Don Norman and I feel like he could have written a new book with... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Nadya E. Joensen
5.0 out of 5 stars great book full of ideas well explained
might be dated examples but I'm old enough to appreciate how bad 1990's technology was and how many steps to improve things didn't help the users
Published 12 months ago by Stephen Mallett
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Great and really useful book. Easy to read, real life examples. Makes you think.
Funny thing is after reading you start to see objects in your life from different prespective
Published 14 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't call him the Don for nothing..
Superb book, very detailed. You'll never look at objects the same way again. After reading it I find literally everyday, people making errors and mistakes which are bought up in... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Awaes Ishfaq
5.0 out of 5 stars User Interface applied to non-computer design
This is a real enlightenment, helping to understand many issues of modern life like door-handles, coffee flasks, soap dispensers - all kinds of "clever" designs which can... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Rod Dalitz
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category