The Design of Everyday Things in Everyday Terms: Those Dang Doors and Doomsday Buttons

  1. Purchase or borrow the book to read yourself — I will be posting a new chapter each week book-club style (at least, I think that’s how book clubs work).
  2. Take in the content at your own pace with whichever method works best for you. I retain information best visually and by noting them down.
  3. Engage by reaching out to me with your thoughts!

Chapter 1: The Psychopathology of Everyday Things

  1. The Trouble with Products — It’s Not You, It’s the Design!
  2. Affordances & Signifiers
  3. Feedback

1. The Trouble with Products — It’s Not You, It’s the Design!

The most memorable part of this chapter was his classic “Norman Doors” example. He shares his trouble with simple products like doors, and notes that “the design of doors should indicate how to work it without any need for signs, certainly without any needs for trial & error.”

Credit: Lekarejec.com
  • smartwatches where I only utilize the time and pedometer
  • blenders where I only use one setting
  • expensive DSLR or fancy camera phone where I only point and shoot
  1. Affordances
  2. Signifiers
  3. Constraints
  4. Mappings
  5. Feedback

2. Affordances & Signifiers

I admit I had to read this section of the book a couple of times to understand the difference between affordances and signifiers. Let’s look at my attempt to reframe the concepts:

Credit: FreeVector.com

3. Feedback

When users are faced with an unfamiliar situation, designers need to consider ways to guide users to make the appropriate action through feedback.

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