Revisiting “Design of Everyday Things”

By: khakang |

Let’s revisit some of the fundamental principles that Donald Norman introduced at the beginning of the semester.  As you become immersed in your final projects, it’ll be useful to reflect and remind yourselves of these concepts.

User Centered Design should make sure that:

  1. The user can figure out what to do.
  2. The user can tell what is going on.

It’s important to be aware of visibility, appropriate clues, affordances and feedback of one’s actions in order to create a “psychology” of how people interact with things.

Visibility – indicates the mapping between intended actions and actual operations. How visible is the intended action you want the user to use?

Affordance – the perceived and actual properties of the things (or environment) that determine just how the thing can possibly be used. The affordance of a door is to open and close it, a light switch to turn lights on or off.  What are the affordances for your project?

Mental Models and Mapping – What are the perceived actions that the user will interpret with your project? What are the relationships between the “controls” and the results in your project?  This will be particularly useful to test with different people when you create a scenario of use for your project.

Feedback – What information are you giving the user about the action you are asking them to perform in your project? What is the result that you want accomplished and how does the user know to do this?




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