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The psychology of everyday things

Author: Donald A Norman
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, ©1988.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure our which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions,  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Donald A Norman
ISBN: 0465067093 9780465067091 0385267746 9780385267748
OCLC Number: 17550682
Description: xi, 257 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: The psychopathology of everyday things --
The psychology of everyday actions --
Knowledge in the head and in the world --
Knowing what to do --
To err is human --
The design challenge --
User-centered design.
Responsibility: Donald A. Norman.
More information:

Abstract:

Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure our which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization. The book presents examples aplenty, among them, the VCR, computer, and office telephone, all models of how not to design for people. But good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time. But the designer must care. The author is a world-famous psychologist and pioneer in the application of cognitive science. His aim is to raise the consciousness of both consumers and designers to the delights of products that are easy to use and understand.

Table of Contents:

by garyperlman (WorldCat user on 2005-11-23)

1 The Psychopathology of Everyday Things 2 The Psychology of Everyday Actions 3 Knowledge in the Head and in the World 4 Knowing What to Do 5 To Err Is Human 6 The Design Challenge 7 User-Centered Design Notes Suggested Readings

Notes:

by garyperlman (WorldCat user on 2006-03-23)

Reissued as The Design of Everyday Things, 1990, Doubleday ISBN 0-385-26774-6 (paperback) Author website: http://www.jnd.org

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Classic on usability

by jkupersm (WorldCat user published 2008-05-29) Very Good Permalink
Norman's book is a classic (and often hilarious) analysis of how people interact with things. Even though it predated the World Wide Web by several years, it should be required reading for web usability practitioners. Also published under the title "The Design of Everyday Things".
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