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

Human Error? No, Bad Design

13 April 2014

new essay on LinkedIn: http://goo.gl/l4oWi0 . When there are accidents, injuries, and deaths the first reaction is often to claim "human error," blaming the last person to have touched the controls. That is why the problems persist: we punish the innocent and do not remedy the underlying causes. We won't solve these problems until we stop blaming people, until we admit that bad design of equipment and procedures is most often the culprit. We need to instill a people-centered attitude in the training of engineers and technologists. It is time to stop blaming people and instead to design for people. Fix the real, underlying problems: the lack of people-centered design of equipment and procedures.

Other Recent Essays

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Interviews & Videos

The cult of the peacock (Brendan Vance)

18 January 2014

Brendan Vance, a game developer and blogger, has written a very nice critique of modern games that he calls "The cult of the peacock." But I do disagree with his complaint about the lack of manuals. Few people ever read manuals -- as is well illustrated in Vance's discussion about them. This is true whether it is a manual for an automobile, a new cooking device a TV set, a computer program or app, or a game. therefore, to me, the important point is to develop devices that are self-explaining, that do not require manuals. In the new edition of Design of Everyday Things I call this property "discoverable." I believe it is possible to design game controls and other features in ways that do not require manuals, especially for experienced game players. Attract screens (remember them?) can serve as tutorials without feeling like one. Similarly, there can be other features whose purpose is to demonstrate and teach but that are so cleverly done that they are not perceived as such.

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Recommended Reading

The cult of the peacock (Brendan Vance)

18 January 2014

Brendan Vance, a game developer and blogger, has written a very nice critique of modern games that he calls "The cult of the peacock." But I do disagree with his complaint about the lack of manuals. Few people ever read manuals -- as is well illustrated in Vance's discussion about them. This is true whether it is a manual for an automobile, a new cooking device a TV set, a computer program or app, or a game. therefore, to me, the important point is to develop devices that are self-explaining, that do not require manuals. In the new edition of Design of Everyday Things I call this property "discoverable." I believe it is possible to design game controls and other features in ways that do not require manuals, especially for experienced game players. Attract screens (remember them?) can serve as tutorials without feeling like one. Similarly, there can be other features whose purpose is to demonstrate and teach but that are so cleverly done that they are not perceived as such.

Recent recommended readings

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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.

A free, online course (a MOOC) offered by Udacity. This will eventually be four courses:
  1. Fundamentals (Chapters 1 and 2)  -- now available
  2. Advanced concepts (Chapters 3 and 4) -- now in development.
  3. Design Thinking & Design in the world of business (Chapters 6 and 7)
  4. Human Error (Chapter 5)
Course 1 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

Schedule