24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2008
I was extremely intrigued by what Donald Norman was going to say about the design of future things, especially given his insights from previous books. The content is sparse: some interesting views of designing human/machine interactions to be more like human/horse (tight-rein, loose-rein, etc.) and technology that assists our lives rather than automate chunks of it. There's also a rather odd dialogue at the end of the book where he interviews a machine to get their perspective...
The bulk of the information in the book appears to be gleaned from the conference circuit and some industrial tourism -- the remainder references his earlier books.
This book could have been summarised, with no loss of information, in a four thousand word essay, and the impression you're left with was that the author took his conference presentation and after dinner anecdotes, then quickly wrote a book around them -- there is little in the way of substance in this short book. (This view is exacerbated by the repetition and easy-going, colloquial style, not to mention the large font size and leading!)
Save your pennies for his earlier books
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2009
The book is interesting, but having finished it, I don't feel like I've taken a great deal from it. He raises a number of interesting ideas worth considering when designing for human-machine interaction, but he seems to labour his points, repeating the same ideas again and again. The various chapters draw the same conclusions and are not very distinct from one another. You could read any one chapter individually and develop a sound understanding of most of the ideas he presents.
He references his own books on a number of occasions that became a little tiring, and the book seems almost a little self-indulgent. The afterword is just bizarre and a little patronising. Having abandoned "The Design of Everyday Things" halfway through, as a little voice in my head shouted *ok, I get it, think about people more*, I was determined to finish this one, though I am left feeling a little disappointed.