The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

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The ultimate guide to human-centered design
Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door.
The fault, argues this ingenious -- even liberating -- book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization.
The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.

The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how -- and why -- some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.
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About the author

Don Norman is a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, and holds graduate degrees in both engineering and psychology. His many books include Emotional Design, The Design of Future Things, and Living with Complexity. He lives in Silicon Valley, California.
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4.3
118 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Basic Books
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Published on
Nov 5, 2013
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780465072996
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Industries / Retailing
Design / Product
Psychology / Applied Psychology
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Science / Cognitive Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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How to design a world in which we rely less on stuff, and more on people.

We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered on technology, so it would be no small matter if "tech" ceased to be an end-in-itself in our daily lives. Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what purpose will be served by the broadband communications, smart materials, wearable computing, and connected appliances that we're unleashing upon the world. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how?

In the Bubble is about a world based less on stuff and more on people. Thackara describes a transformation that is taking place now—not in a remote science fiction future; it's not about, as he puts it, "the schlock of the new" but about radical innovation already emerging in daily life. We are regaining respect for what people can do that technology can't. In the Bubble describes services designed to help people carry out daily activities in new ways. Many of these services involve technology—ranging from body implants to wide-bodied jets. But objects and systems play a supporting role in a people-centered world. The design focus is on services, not things. And new principles—above all, lightness—inform the way these services are designed and used. At the heart of In the Bubble is a belief, informed by a wealth of real-world examples, that ethics and responsibility can inform design decisions without impeding social and technical innovation.

Colour Design: Theories and Applications, Second Edition, provides information on a broad spectrum of colour subjects written by seasoned industry professionals and academics. It is a multidisciplinary book that addresses the use of colour across a range of industries, with a particular focus on textile colouration.

Part One deals with the human visual system, colour perception and colour psychology, while Part Two focuses on the practical application of colour in design, including specifically in textiles and fashion. Part Three covers cultural and historical aspects of colour, as well as recent developments, addressing areas such as dyes and pigments, architecture, colour theory, virtual reality games, colour printing, website development, and sustainability. This revised, expanded, and updated edition reflects recent technological developments, and new industry priorities.

Bringing together the science of colouration and the more artistic elements of design, this book supports students, academics, and industry professionals in developing a deep knowledge of colour use. It will also be an important reference for those involved in textile dyeing, design and manufacture.

Provides a comprehensive review of the issues surrounding the use of color in textilesDiscusses the application of color across a wide range of industries, supporting interdisciplinary knowledge and researchOffers a revised, expanded, and updated look that reflects the rise of new technology and industry priorities
Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.

Finally, we are learning that simplicity equals sanity. We're rebelling against technology that's too complicated, DVD players with too many menus, and software accompanied by 75-megabyte "read me" manuals. The iPod's clean gadgetry has made simplicity hip. But sometimes we find ourselves caught up in the simplicity paradox: we want something that's simple and easy to use, but also does all the complex things we might ever want it to do. In The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda offers ten laws for balancing simplicity and complexity in business, technology, and design—guidelines for needing less and actually getting more.

Maeda—a professor in MIT's Media Lab and a world-renowned graphic designer—explores the question of how we can redefine the notion of "improved" so that it doesn't always mean something more, something added on.

Maeda's first law of simplicity is "Reduce." It's not necessarily beneficial to add technology features just because we can. And the features that we do have must be organized (Law 2) in a sensible hierarchy so users aren't distracted by features and functions they don't need. But simplicity is not less just for the sake of less. Skip ahead to Law 9: "Failure: Accept the fact that some things can never be made simple." Maeda's concise guide to simplicity in the digital age shows us how this idea can be a cornerstone of organizations and their products—how it can drive both business and technology. We can learn to simplify without sacrificing comfort and meaning, and we can achieve the balance described in Law 10. This law, which Maeda calls "The One," tells us: "Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful."

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