The Design of Everyday Things – Reading Response

This book, Design of Everyday Things talks mainly about Norman Don’s experience with regards to the psychology of designing, and why we have problems in our daily lives.

“Why are you having problems?”

I find his answer rather intriguing. “You are too logical.”

Much of machine or product designed nowadays has too many functions, your rice cooker has 7 different buttons for 7 different types of cooking, but you really only need the fast cook and keep warm functions, your washing machine can do 14 types of washing, but you only ever use the 30 minute cycle.

His solution is human-centered design, a philosophy that puts human needs, capabilities and behavior first, then designs that accommodate those needs, capabilities and ways of behaving. I believe that this philosophy is something worth keeping in mind, as it helps to trim out unnecesarry designs in your product, and make it more pleasurable and convenient to use.

Besides that, the ideas of affordances and signifiers, mapping and feedback, are all concepts that I was vaguely aware of, but could not identify, and through this book, I feel more clarified as to what they are and how I can apply them into my designs for a more pleasurable user experience.

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