in Reading Response

Response to reading, Chapter 1 of Design in Everyday Things:

This chapter introduces to me the basic problem of bad design at hand, and important concepts that are necessary in a good design process. Poor design may cause inconvenience and, in some cases, harm. To solve it, we must understand why these ‘poor’ designs happen. From what I read, it seems that users are not clued-up on how the designer envisions the objects to be used. However, it is clear that most of the time, the user is not at fault. Discoverable affordances or anti-affordances, the right amount and placement of signifiers, some constraints (although this is apparently only covered in later chapters), natural mappings that are easy to understand, and quick informative feedback are some concepts heavily featured in this reading as the markings of good design. All these, in the end, come into play by seeing the object through the user’s perspective and constantly tweaking aspects to increase the intuitiveness of the design.

In conclusion, I learned that in the end, whether a design is good or bad depends on the user’s experience in using it. That is not to say functionality always take precedence to aesthetics, as aesthetics also contribute to the user experience. Instead, the sweet spot between the two must be found through constant refining and testing.


Question 1:

How does ergonomics fit with all these concepts?

Question 2:

How do we prevent unwanted perceived affordances, besides testing?