Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group


In memory of Naomi Miyake

10 November 2015

Naomi Miyake, a brilliant Japanese researcher, a close friend and colleague, and one of my early PhD students, died this year (2015). Here are my reflections on her carer, published in the japanese Cognitive Science Society's journal: Cognitive Studies, 22(4), 1-38. (Dec. 2015)

Encounters with HCI pioneers

18 October 2015

From the very beginnings of time, Ben Shneiderman has been busy photographing all that he sees. Ben was active in the pre-history days of the folks who tried to understand the newly-developed computing machines, especially as they moved into people's homes, offices, and schools. Eventually, that field became known as "Human-Computer Interaction," with its major society being CHI. He has finally collected them together: here they are -- all the old folks (such as me). Such old folks portrayed by photos from their youth, so I can barely recognize some of them: I can barely recognize me.

My Dream: The Rise of the Small

29 February 2012

Steelcase celebrated its 100th anniversary by asking 100 people to write essays about their dreams for the next 100 years. It is an impressive list of people and i am honored to be one of them. My essay, my dream is "the rise of the small." Here is the start: I dream of the power of individuals, whether alone or in small groups, to unleash their creative spirits, their imagination, and their talents to develop a wide range of innovation.

A Fetish for Numbers: Hospital Care

17 February 2008

I've been spending a lot of time in hospitals recently. No, not as a patient, as an observer — following doctors and nurses on their grand rounds, watching patients get admitted, nurses doing shift changes, pharmacists filling prescriptions, and then watching nurses actually deliver the prescribed medication to their patients, waving barcode readers over the prescriptions, the medication, and the patients. The modern hospital is a complex system, with multiple complex interactions among people, equipment, laws, institutions, and a confusing wealth of information. It is time to turn our attention to the multiple interfaces and design issues within this complex system. Healthcare is a problem that needs immediate attention. We need to start now, for the issues are life-threatening.

Cautious Cars & Cantankerous Kitchens

22 September 2006

Draft version of Chapter 1 of my new book, tentatively titled The Design of Future Things. (In press: Basic Books. Expected publication: 2007.)  This chapter is called "Cautious cars and cantankerous kitchens." Posted December 9, 2006 as a Microsoft Word file.

In Appreciation of Jef Raskin

14 March 2005

Jef Raskin, a remarkable person, died recently (26 Feb., 2005). He led a rich life. I first met him when he was a professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the early 1970s, and although his degree was in Music, he was a professor of Art, doing computer science, and art, and music, and well, you name it. He was an accomplished musician on multiple instruments, a conductor and composer, an artist with several major exhibits, an inventor of light-weight, radio controlled airplanes (and science editor of a model airplane magazine), a writer, inventor of the term "Information appliance" and one of the first example products thereof (The Canon Cat), and along the way, the person who started the Macintosh project at Apple computer. Take a look at his latest work -- Archy -- which promises a radically different way to interact with our computers. Read Jef's book, examine the Archie site. And look for Jef’s new book, "The Humane Environment," now in development at Addison-Wesley. A remarkable person: a remarkable set of achievements.

Being Analog 3 of 3

15 September 2004

Part 3 of an essay on the fact that people are analog, hence fundamentally mismatched with contemporary requirements of digital devices (e.g., the computer).

Being Analog 2 of 3

15 September 2004

Part 2 of a three-part essay on the fact that people are analog, hence fundamentally mismatched with contemporary requirements of digital devices (e.g., the computer).

Being Analog

01 September 2004

Chapter 7 from The Invisible Computer ? 1998 ? We are analog beings trapped in a digital world, and the worst part is, we did it to ourselves.

How Might Humans Interact with Robots?

01 September 2004

In developing an understanding of how humans interact with robots, we can draw our lessons from several disciplines: 1. Human-Computer Interaction 2. Automation in such areas as Aviation 3. Science fiction, e.g., Asimov's 4 laws of Robots 4. Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 5. Human Consciousness, Emotion and Personality All of these areas are valuable, but each stresses a different aspect of interaction so, in the end, we must draw lessons from all. In the case of robots, it turns out that although all these teach valuable lessons, they aren't enough: we still need more.