Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Stories of modern technology failures and cognitive engineering successes

Cooke, N. J., & Durso, F. T. (2008). Stories of modern technology failures and cognitive engineering successes. Boca Raton: CRC Press. 

A fascinating set of stories illustrating how the lack of attention to the needs and capabilities of people can lead technological systems to disaster. Read the book to learn the fascinating stories of what can go wrong once complex systems are deployed without appropriate consideration to the needs and capabilities of people during their design.

  

This is a good book: I highly recommend it. Engaging, illustrative, and important. But it is the book that inspired me to say during a recent talk to the National Academies committee on Human-System Integration that it showed that HIS had not been successful. I said:

 

"In preparation for this talk I read Nancy Cooke and Frank Durso's book "Stories of Modern Technology Failure and Cognitive Engineering Successes." It is an excellent book, but after I finished it, I was feeling even more discouraged than when I had started. Why am I so discouraged by a book that glorifies the successes? Because the successes should have been unnecessary. They were rescues."  


(see the text of my talk at: Why Human Systems Integration Fails (And Why the University Is the Problem). and the video at HSI Presentation by Donald Norman.)




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