Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Selective Memories (Metropolis Magazine article)

Life is filled with unpleasant experiences. Not only do we survive them, but in hindsight we tend to minimize the bad and amplify the good. Psychol­o­gists call it "rosy remembrance." Recently, I gave a lecture on this subject and afterward received an e-mail: "Your discussion ... made me remember my trip to Thailand a few years ago. ... I traveled for three weeks and lost 10 pounds because I didn't like any food. There were insects 'on steroids' everywhere I turned and the restrooms were no joy. ... However, I had the time of my life and I would go back in a second." The message came attached with photos of awful, insectlike food, a mammoth spider, and an unseemly squat toilet.

Scary meals, scarier bugs--why on earth would anyone go back for more?

This text above is the start of my essay "Selective Memories" published by Metropolis Magazine. The full article is available on their website.

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