Week 1 Assignment – Part 4

This is a response to week 1 reading that is by Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (1988)

A good design is an intuitive design. An intuitive design speaks to you naturally. No graphics, visuals or manuals for users to respond to. They react to it naturally and understands how to react with the given circumstance.  A good design is coherent in its visibility which maps the intended actions and actual operations.

Design practice nowadays tends to follow the trend of ‘minimalism’ or ‘simplicity’ with designers following blindly. The misconception of minimalism is often thought of removing as many visual cues leaving the product almost bare. Buttons are similar with one another with no visibility in the difference between its functions which is described from the reading as, ‘false causality’, and provides confusion for the user.

We as users blindly accepts these incoherent designs as common practice. ‘If I don’t know how to use it, it would just reflect negatively on me’, would be the kind of thoughts of a user who has no idea on how to use such a ‘simple’ product. Especially now that we are in the digital age where accessing information can be done quickly and easily.

This silent ‘acceptance’ by users would lead to designers further abusing the idea of ‘minimalism’ to their benefit. Products nowadays has so many hidden features and functions that are cleverly hidden behind the veil of minimalism that sometimes we as users has no idea that it has been around all along until the recent discovery by another.


Q1. How does a good design deal with minimalism but yet maps good visibility to its actual operations?

Q2. How would we as designers remind ourselves to not let ‘minimalism’ overshadow its functionality?

Published by

Nik Halim

Product Designer

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