Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

The Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded Edition

Norman, D. A. (2013). Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded. New York: Basic Books. London: MIT Press (UK edition)

What has changed from the earlier book? A lot. The preface explains why the book was revised and then, chapter by chapter, what has changed. Summary: The world has changed a lot in the 25 years since the book was written. I have learned a lot. So the science is unchanged (except for the addition of "signifiers," but the examples are completely new, as is the understanding of how these ideas get implemented. The last two chapters are completely new. For details read the preface. 


      Preface (click to read)
  1. Psychopathology of Everyday Things
  2. The Psychology of Everyday Actions
  3. Knowledge in the Head and in the World
  4. Knowing What to Do: Constraints, Discoverability, and Feedback
  5. Human Error? No, Bad Design
  6. Design Thinking
  7. Design in the World of Business
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Full Table of Contents

  1. Psychopathology of Everyday Things
    • The Complexity of Modern Devices
    • Human-Centered Design
    • Fundamental Principles of Interaction
      • Affordances
      • Signifiers
      • Affordances, Perceived Affordances, and Signifiers
      • Affordances and Signifiers: A Conversation
      • Mapping
      • Feedback
      • Conceptual Models
    • The System Image
    • The Paradox of Technology
    • The Design Challenge

  2. The Psychology of Everyday Actions
    • How People Do Things: the Gulfs of Execution and Evaluation
    • The Seven Stages of Action
    • Human Thought: Mostly Subconscious
    • Human Cognition and Emotion
      • The Visceral Level
      • The Behavioral Level
      • The Reflective Level
      • Design Must Take place at All levels: Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective
    • The Seven Stages of Action and the Three Levels of Processing
    • People As Explanatory Creatures
    • Blaming the Wrong Things
      • Learned Helplessness
      • Positive Psychology
    • Falsely Blaming Yourself
    • How Technology Can Accommodate Human Behavior
    • Providing a Conceptual Model for a Home Thermostat
    • Entering Dates, Times and Telephone Numbers
    • The Seven Stages Of Action: Seven Fundamental Design Principles

  3. Knowledge in the Head and in the World
    • Precise Behavior From Imprecise Knowledge
      • Knowledge Is In The World
      • When Precision Is Unexpectedly Required
      • Constraints Simplify Memory
    • Memory Is Knowledge In The Head
    • The Structure of Memory
      • Short-Term or Working Memory
      • Long-Term Memory
      • Memory for Arbitrary and Meaningful Things
    • Approximate Models: Memory in the Real World
      • Example 1: Converting Temperatures between Fahrenheit and Celsius
      • Example 2: A Model of Short-Term Memory
      • Example 3: Steering a Motorcycle
      • Example 4: "Good Enough" Arithmetic
      • Scientific Theory Versus Everyday Practice
    • Combining Knowledge in the World With Knowledge in the Head
      • How Pilots Remember What Air Traffic Control Tells Them
      • Reminding: Prospective Memory
    • The Tradeoff between Knowledge In The World and in the Head
    • Memory in Multiple Heads, Multiple Devices
    • Natural Mapping
    • Culture and Design: Natural Mappings Can Vary With Culture

  4. Knowing What to Do: Constraints, Discoverability, and Feedback
    • Four Kinds of Constraints: Physical, Cultural, Semantic, and Logical
      • Physical Constraints
      • Cultural Constraints
      • Semantic Constraints
      • Logical Constraints
      • Cultural Norms, Conventions, and Standards
    • Applying Affordances, Signifiers, and Constraints to Everyday Objects
      • The Problem with Doors
      • The Problem with Switches
      • Activity-Centered Controls
    • Constraints That Force the Desired Behavior
      • Forcing Functions
      • Interlocks
      • Lock-ins
      • Lock-outs
    • Conventions, Constraints, and Affordances
      • Conventions Are Cultural Constraints
      • When Conventions Change: The Case of Destination Control Elevators
      • Peoples' Responses to Changes in Conventions
    • The Faucet: A Case History of Design
    • Using Sound as Signifiers
      • When Silence Kills

  5. Human Error? No, Bad Design
    • Understanding Why There Is Error
      • Root Cause Analysis
      • Root Cause Analysis: The Five Whys
    • Deliberate Violations
    • Two Types of Errors: Slips and Mistakes
      • Definitions: Errors, Slips, and Mistakes
      • Slips
      • Mistakes
      • Error and the Seven Stages of Action
    • The Classification of Slips
      • Capture Slips
      • Description-Similarity Slips
      • Memory Lapse Slips
      • Mode Error Slips
    • The Classification of Mistakes
      • Rule-Based Mistakes
      • Knowledge-Based Mistakes
      • Memory-Lapse Mistakes
    • Social and Institutional Pressures
    • Reporting Error
      • Case Study: Jidoka -- How Toyota Handles Error
      • Poka Yoke: Error Proofing
      • NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System
    • Detecting Errors
      • Explaining Away Mistakes
      • The Case of the Wrong Turn on a Highway
      • In Hindsight, Events Seem Logical, even if Beforehand they Were Not Predicted
    • Designing for Error
      • Design Lessons from the Study of Errors
      • Adding Constraints to Block Errors
      • Undo
      • Confirmation and Error Messages
        • A slip leads me to close the wrong window
        • A mistake leads me to close the wrong window
      • Sensibility Checks
      • Minimizing slips
      • The Swiss Cheese Model of How Errors Lead to Accidents
    • When Good Design Isn't Enough
      • When People Really Are at Fault
    • Resilience Engineering
    • The Paradox of Automation
    • Design Principles for Dealing with Error

  6. Design Thinking
    • Solving the Correct Problem
    • The Double Diamond Model of Design
    • The Human-Centered Design Process
      • Observation
        • Design Research versus Market Research
      • Idea Generation
      • Prototyping
      • Testing
      • Iteration
      • Activity-Centered versus Human-Centered Design
        • On the Differences between Tasks and Activities
      • Iterative Design versus Linear Stages
    • What I Just Told You? It Doesn't Really Work That Way
      • Norman's Theorem of Product Development
    • The Design Challenge
      • Products Have Multiple, Conflicting Requirements
      • Designing for Special People
      • The Stigma Problem
    • Complexity Is Good; It Is Confusion That Is Bad
    • Standardization and Technology
      • Establishing Standards
      • Why Standards Are Necessary: A Simple Illustration
      • A Standard That Took So Long, Technology Overran It
      • A Standard That Never Caught On: Digital Time
    • Deliberately Making Things Difficult
    • Design: Developing Technology for People

  7. Design in the World of Business
    • Competitive Forces
      • Featuritis: A Deadly Temptation
    • New Technologies Force Change
    • How Long Does It Take to Introduce a New Product?
      • Video Phone: Conceived in 1879 - Still Not Here
      • The Long Process of Development of the Typewriter Keyboard
    • Two Forms of Innovation: Incremental and Radical
      • Incremental Innovation
      • Radical Innovation
    • The Design of Everyday Things: 1988 - 2038
      • As Technologies Change Will People Stay the Same?
      • Things That Make Us Smart
    • The Future of Books
    • The Moral Obligations of Design
      • Needless Features, Needless Models. Good for Business, Bad for the Environment
    • Final Thoughts
      • The Rise of the Small
      • As the World Changes, What Stays the Same?

  8. End Matter
    • Afterward/Acknowledgments
    • Readings and Notes
    • References