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

You can't predict the future by inventing it

03 September 2017

In 1963, Dennis Gabor, Nobel laureate for his invention of the holograph, said "The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented" (Gabor, 1963). This statement has become a mantra in recent times, attributed to many who are simply rephrasing Gabor. Alas, the slogan, wonderful though it may sound, is false. The most successful inventions transform the world in ways that are impossible to foresee at the time of the invention. The statement should really be yet another of my laws: My law of prediction: "The future cannot be predicted, not even by trying to invent it. Although inventions can change the future, their long-term impact cannot be predicted." So, invent all you like, just don't try to predict the impact several decades later.

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Interviews & Videos

Interview: Is Tesla Racing Recklessly Towards Driverless Cars?

23 April 2016

Chunka Mui wrote to say he was writing an article on autonomous cars and asked for my thoughts.  He published his article in Forbes , and before I knew it, I was suddenly front and center into the debate about Tesla and autonomy.Here is the article: here is my response to the (fortunately very few) complaints.  People really love their teslas and do not like any criticism.My reply is:Yes, I have experienced Tesla's autopilot (as well as the pre-release models from other OEMs). I also have published several articles pointing out that imperfect automation can be a lot safer than imperfect human drivers....

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Keynote Addresses and Schedule

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

Faculty Positions in Design at UC San Diego
The Design Lab at UC San Diego, in collaboration with multiple departments in the Jacobs School of Engineering, Social Sciences, and Health Sciences, seeks candidates for Assistant or early Associate Professor faculty positions.  Candidates must demonstrate excellent research credentials and will be expected to establish a vigorous program of high-quality design research. Note that two positions are available.

 Nine departments are interested, 5 from Engineering, 3 from Social Sciences, and 1 from Health Science. Candidates must indicate the department(s) for which they have the requisite experience and skills in addition to ...   More ... 

Examples of talks
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 most 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.
  • October 9. University of Florence: "Living with robots,"
  • October 11: University of Bologna Business school: "21st Century human-centered design: Design-Driven Transformation of Industry"
  • October 9-13. Tuscany and Emilia Romagna (a few talks here and there)
  • October 16. Universit√† Di Catania. "Useful and threatening aspects of artificial intelligence in everyday life"
  • October 17-18. Sicily.
  • October 26-27, 2017. Design Forward 2017 at San Diego Liberty Station
  • October 30 - November 3, 2017. International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR). University of Cincinnati, Ohio. (Opening keynoteGiving talks, attending, ...)
  • November 8-9: University of Kentucky (UK): Research project with UK, NCI, FCC, UCSD, Amgen; Healthcare in underserved areas of the country (Appalachia -- Eastern Kentucky).
  • November 13-17. Design groups at MIT and Harvard. (Cambridge, MA).
  • January 9-12, 2018. CES, Las Vegas.