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It was another interesting book from Don Norman. I just took time to understand his version of "signifier" means because we learned the word with different meaning from semiotics as he mentioned in the book.
Author Norman popularized the term user-centered design and a proponent of design thinking. I believe these approaches to design make it seem like the product has been designed with you in mind. He uses short illustrative case studies to describe the psychology of good and bad design. The rich theory is brought alive through the examination of light switches, door knobs and other day-to-day items we have common and frequent interaction. Here are some bon mots from the book:
“Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.”
“The design of everyday things is in great danger of becoming the design of superfluous, overloaded, unnecessary things.”
“Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible.”
This is the most recent edition of a 25 year old book that remains relevant and entertaining. The 2013 edition has been updated (NEST is given its due) and includes two entirely new chapters. I like that Norman does not believe in human error as much as bad design (especially when I push on a door that should be pulled). All of this has been made more impressive given at time of this review the book is #1 in Industrial & Product Design, #1 in Retailing, and #4 in Applied Psychology.
*Please bear in mind I'm reading this book on my computer so it's displayed in double page format.* It's a good book so far but I'm SURPRISED that the top reviews don't include the fact that the right page often doesn't finish the last sentence of the left page. Sometimes the right page will start a sentence, and the left page will try to continue it but the top half of the words are cut off and sometimes, it often repeats the last paragraph of the left page.
All I'm saying is... maybe buy the paperback version instead.
Get the MIT press version if you intend to keep the book. I have the kindle version and its much better (on an iPad). The paper and book quality is abysmal.
The book is very well known and you can search for the author's videos to give you an overview of what this book is about. Makes you think and definitely a good starting point if you want to learn more about design
Not a review of the book, I'm sure it's great. Unfortunately the copy I received was supposed to be brand new but the cover was quite badly damaged, acceptable for a second hand book but not one that is listed as new.
naturally, after reading just one book, you won't become an expert. But if you are looking for a great introduction and overview of the field, this is a phantastic start. It definitely gave me a lot of food for thought on how to apply the ideas to my own field of expertise!