Monday, January 27, 2014

New edition of The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things
I recently got myself a copy of the 2013 edition of Donald A. Norman's masterpiece The Design of Everyday Things. The previous version of this book was one of my main sources of inspiration when writing The Functional Art.

I started reading it a few minutes ago, and it seems that many, many things have been updated and expanded: The book is much longer now 350 pages; the 2002 edition had around 300. It's still very quotable, of course. This is the first paragraph that I copied to Evernote:

"This is a starter kit for good design. It is intended to be enjoyable and informative for everyone; everyday people, technical people, designers, and nondesigners. One goal is to turn readers into great observers of the absurd, of the poor design that gives rise to so many of the problems of modern life, especially of modern technology. It will also turn them into observers of the good, of the ways in which thoughtful designers have worked to make our lives easier and smoother. 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, serving us without drawing attention to itself. Bad design, on the other hand, screams out its inadequacies, making itself very noticeable."

Amen to that.