Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group
Design of Every day things (Revised) Complexity Future Things Emotional Design The invisible computer Things tha make us smart Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles user centred system design Emotional Design Learning and memory Human Information Processing Memory and attention

Recent Essays

Then and Now: The Bauhaus and 21st century design

24 December 2017

The Bauhaus movement in Germany, roughly 1919-1933, marked a major turning point for design and its role in society. It exerted a powerful and influential role in the development of artist style. But today, for many designers, it is more of a historical curiosity than a role model. Why? What has changed? Aristotle is considered one of the forerunners of the scientific movement, even as his actual words and writings of science and technology are completely ignored by today's working scientists. That is how I feel about the Bauhaus movement: I am grateful for what it accomplished, but I do not find it relevant to the complex issues we face today.

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Interviews & Videos

The UCSD Design Lab Philosophy on Health Care

27 December 2017

One summary of the UC San Diego Design Lab's philosophy on healthcare is "Don't Drop the Patient."What do we mean by "Dropping the patient"? The insight -- and the catchy phrase -- comes from Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, the physician who directs the Design Lab's Center for Health. Eli observed that many medical errors and difficulties in treatment result from lapses in the medical care: Basically, it means losing track of prior thoughts, analyses, and even testing results as the patient gets passed from clinician to clinician, clinic to clinic, and ward to ward. Multiple transitions and poor communication and limited...

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Recommended Reading

The man who designed the future-Norman Bel Geddes by Barbara Szerlip

07 November 2017

I very much recommend the book. It tells some of the origins of today's design field when designers came from theater and advertising. When they thought big and had lofty ambitions. Szerlip's book makes it clear that Norman Bel Geddes was a brilliant and creative thinker. His $7 million design of GM's Futurama exhibit for the 1939 NY World's Fair ($120 Million in today's money) revolutionized people's thinking about the future. Would I have liked him? Probably not -- but I would have respected him.

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Keynote Addresses and Schedule

Don Norman
Contact information, bios, press photos, ...

Examples of talks (Videos)
Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded Edition (DOET2), paperback and eBook.

Fundamentals (Chapters 1 and 2)  -- now available
This course has design exercises by Kristian Simsarian, IDEO Fellow and head of interaction design at CCA. Reflective thinking exercises implemented by Chelsey Glasson

See these excerpts


I am declining travel requests not directly related to the establishment of the Design Lab at U.C. San Diego. Trips, where I have zero spare time, are not listed.