The Design of Everyday Things – Chapter 1 Reflection


As an engineer, I admit that when I build things, I like to think about the functionalities first before the design or how can the product serve the users’ need without causing much trouble. From this chapter, I understand that as engineers, we tend to think logically, and it is true that we assume people also think as logical as us when it is not certainly the case.

When building a product, a designer must consider several aspects:
Affordance: What is the product being used for? How does it relate to the user? How does the material (properties) support its relationship with the user?
Signifiers: Clues that makes user action on the product more intuitive (natural). These are hints to communicate the correct behaviour to the user.
Mapping: map something according to what it controls
Feedback: After an action is applied to the product, there should be a feedback for the user to notify them that the action is received by the product.
Conceptual Models: Simple instruction on how to operate the machine


Affordance vs signifiers. If a product serves as good signifiers for another product, does that mean the former has good affordance?

Does understanding the human behaviour could also help generate new product ideas?

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