Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

The human factor: revolutionizing the way people live with technology.

Kim Vicente is one of the major figures in the application of human-centered design principles to domains other than websites and software. He has written several important books, this being his most recent. This is a very readable book, and it has just the right emphasis of accident reports, lively-reading incidents, and science, guaranteed to turn you into a convert: we -- cognitive engineers -- know how to design systems for people. But system designers have failed to give design for the users the attention required. We still blame people for accidents. Human error? No, the culprit is bad design.

Here is what I said about the book on the back-cover blurb: This book can save lives. Strong words? Yes, but this is a strong book: engaging, easy to read, but carrying a powerful message. We have far too long neglected the human and social side of technology. When accidents happen, we rush to find blame, to sue, fire, penalize and otherwise punish people when it is the system that at fault. The result is needless accidents in vehicles, hospitals, manufacturing plants and, worse, no way of stemming the tide, of learning from our actions and making life better, safer, more enjoyable. "The Human Factor" can indeed revolutionize the way we live with technology.

Read this book: it can save lives.

Pointer to the book at Amazon.com \

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