Assignment 1 Part 4: Response Reading

The Design of Everyday Things
Donald A. Norman

Reading the text enabled me to observe everyday objects in a more detailed manner. You wouldn’t have had realised that the design, shape and material of the everyday item has a meaningful purpose! I picked up some keywords utilised when making a product such as affordances, mapping, constraints and visibility. The terms cultivates the designer to not only design, but to also factor in the considerations of the user. If something were to look aesthetically pleasing but people find it hard at a glance for the object to function then it’s generally a failed design.

Question 1: The author delves deeper into ‘everyday things’ and mentions about 20,000 of them, right down to it’s parts. Although the book may have been outdated as it was published in 1988, and we are are comfortable with the idea of one button one function, the usage of the screen-based products such as smartphone has limitless functions (to call, to type a message, to play games, to watch videos, take pictures etc.)

As the author had also mentioned about combining multiple things together as a product and saying that it fails to sustain as an everyday object because it was too cluttered … In our future, would it be possible to take into account the use of screen-based technology to solve similar issues?

Question 2: Wouldn’t there exists a “universal design” whereby an object (e.g mug, ball) best remains as it’s original state and further actions done to it are only aesthetic?

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