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

A Product Is More than a Product -- Consider the Chair

25 July 2015

Imagine how the 21st century chair might perk up when guests arrive, autonomously transforming itself as needed. It can become a stepstool when someone needs to stand on it, or a bed, perhaps formed by enlisting other chairs so that they can to support a horizontal body or two or three. When self-organized into neat orderly rows of its collaborators, the chair can accommodate crowds. While awaiting the crowd's arrival the chairs are a memory of the future, reminding us of the event that is to come. After they leave, the same chairs serve as a memory of the past. These 21st century chairs are social, aiming to please. They will be active servants, relationship builders, and enablers of social interactions. In the 21st century designers will produce many things besides chairs, many of which will not be objects. Some will be services and experiences, such as healthcare and wellness. Some will be ideas. Is an idea a thing, a product, a service? Whatever they are called, they need to be designed not as isolated things but as complex, interrelated systems, as total experiences. As relationships.

Other Recent Essays

View All Essays

Related areas

Interviews & Videos

Complessità vs confusione (Domus Academy Interview)

02 July 2015

I recently took part in the 10th Anniversary celebration of Maria Grazia Mattei's "Meet the Media Guru" program based in Milan, Italy (I was her guest in 2010).  As part of the celebration, I presented a talk in Milan and was interviewed by Stefania Garassini for an article in the magazine of the Domus Academy. (Milan's Domus Academy is one of the world's major design schools. The Domus Academy of San Diego is an offshoot of the one in Milan and my Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego collaborates with them.).Here is the interview -- in Italian.   Your system might translate...

View All Press and Videos

Recommended Reading

Positive computing: technology for wellbeing and human potential (Calvo & Peters)

04 January 2015

The design of human-computer systems used to focus upon the negative, the breakdowns that confused and confounded people. Now it is time to move to the next level, to focus upon the positive, systems that are enjoyable and pleasurable. We need systems that delight as well as inform, systems that create pleasure along with useful function. We need systems that are resilient, that promote control, understanding, and sometimes just plain pleasure. The design field has responded by examining the role of emotions and pleasure in design. We need to move these findings into mainstream computing.

Recent recommended readings

View All Recommended Readings

Keynote Addresses and Schedule

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

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 establishment of the Design Lab at U.C. San Diego.
  • August 19-22, 2015. Education keynote. Industrial Design Society of America, Seattle, WA.
  • September 1 - 3, 2015. Keynote. Relating Systems Thinking and Design 4 (RSD4) ConferenceBanff Centre, Alberta, Canada 
  • October 10-11, 2015. DesignX Workshop. Tongji University. Shanghai.
  • October 12-13, 2015. Emerging Practices conference. Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  • October 15, 2015. Advisory Board, School of Design and Innovation, Tongji.
  • December 14-?, 2015. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology