Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Design Of Everyday Things book review

I finished reading "The Design Of Everyday Things" By Donald A. Norman last night. Another short book (two evenings of reading). Throughout the course of the book the author shows product after product (in many cases, doors) that were designed horribly and thus confuse users when they attempted to operate them. This is typical of most user interface books, but unlike others throughout the book the author explains in the most well written manner I have read about why designers think their designs are self explanatory when they are just wrong. Most other books gloss over this fact hoping you will memorize their rules. Another idea which is much more prominently talked about in the book is the idea of blocking, or removing features from the users when the option wont do anything or cause harm. Even though computer GUI's aren't mentioned, many of the ideas presented can be quite easily mapped to computer gui's. Overall the book is well written and has a lot of good ideas and would recommend this book.

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