The ultimate guide to human-centered design.
Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door.
The fault, argues this ingenious -- even liberating -- 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 Design of Everyday Things shows that 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.
The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how -- and why -- some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.
You've probably encountered the effects of poor design if you've ever unintentionally pushed a "pull" door or flicked the wrong light switch. Despite the fact that you may have assigned responsibility for these errors to yourself, design frequently influences how we interact with the outside world. Every item we come into contact with on a daily basis is designed, from smartphones to stovetops, faucets to fighter jets. Our lives are made simpler and more straightforward by good design. Contrarily, poor design leads to annoyance, mistakes, and even deadly accidents.
Understanding how we view the objects around us and how our brains interpret that data can help us distinguish between them. Engineering and cognitive psychology principles can be combined to build products that work with users rather than against them, making us all smarter customers.
Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible