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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 March 2016
A design classic. The Design of Everyday Things will make you take the time to look at things you use without a second thought and understand the why and how of product design. As a designer I find myself applying rules and ideas from this book to my own work and going back to it time and time again.

If you're working in any area of design, whether it's web design, user experience, product, print or interior, this book will be a worthwhile investment. I'd also read it alongside other books like Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think.
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on 22 September 2002
If you already own 'Psychology of Everyday Things' by Donald Norman - don't buy this - it's the same book - just in paperback.
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on 24 July 2002
The book reads as a bound set of lecture notes for a US first year undergrad course. Whilst the core thrust of his argument has value, it is spoilt by labouring the point - time and time again he comes back to criticising ease of use of the telephone until the reader is left thinking "ok, just get over it".
The text itself is very dated - there are humourous references to a "pocket size computing device which has huge storage and is able to connect to my laboratory and home computers possibly electromagetically" being available in 15 years hence.
There are also a number of factual inaccuracies which detract from the message. A painfully detailed description of the way in which turn-offs from British motorways are signed, which is upheld as an example of good design, is, well, just plain wrong.
I would take issue with some of the other examples selected as "good design". B&O hi-fi's, for example, may have an ergonomic style, but the user interface itself runs contrary to a large number of Norman's own recommendations regarding mapping and intuition. I wonder whether he has ever actually used one himself?
In all, the book serves as a useful starting point for discussion, but does not offer any significant insight into the psychology of design. Good ideas are undermined by poor examples and specious arguments, leaving little more than the common sense of good design.
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2003
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.
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on 4 April 2013
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 frustrate the user and make us feel stupid. This should be compulsory reading before anyone is allowed to design anything.
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on 18 September 2013
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 concepts and examples from the World today, since the world has become a whole lot more technological and digital than it was before. I would have given this book 5 stars if I would have read it at the time it was published, maybe I would have been more mindblown back then.

But this is a great book for design students who want to really understand what design and usability is and how to approach it with an open mind.
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on 8 June 2016
Please don't pay attention to negative comments like "outdated" etc. because they will mislead you from the core understanding what DESIGN is / should be. Read this book, you will change your thinking, approaches and perception for everything. Good luck!
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on 9 October 2012
This is my first time reading this book. And I have to say I am really enjoying it. It is obviously based on the authors most loved interest. Norman shows that he is an ordinary person who gets frustrated with (bad) design in the same way we all do. But then he sets about trying to help us create guidelines for better or even great design. This book is not about clean lines and hidden details. It's about obvious usability and making life easier.

The book is technically old in the sense that he refers to old tech/computers/phone systems that were common for the time of writing. Which as we know Tech moves on kind of fast. But you have to stop yourself from saying "this is so out of date". Because really the principles are timeless. Good design will always be based on how well the design fits its purpose.

So if you have an interest in design and particularly the design of things you rely on everyday. Or if you will be responsible for the design of everyday things. This is the book to get your ideas and thinking focused on the user.
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on 26 April 2013
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 this book. I find myself looking at almost every object I use and wondering how it could be better, and most important of all, I'm thinking more carefully before creating things.
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on 20 July 2016
Fantastic book, opens your eyes to how everyday design can create confusion amongst us as humans and just how easy it is to get design wrong! Any and every product/industrial designer should read this book.
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