Donald A. Norman
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About Donald A. Norman
Don Norman is a voyeur, always watching, always on the lookout for some common-day occurrence that everyone else takes for granted but that when examined, yields insight into the human condition. (If you are rushing to catch a train, how do you know if you got to the station on time? Empty platform? You probably are too late. People milling about, looking at their watches,peering down the tracks? Probably OK. Who needs technology when people are so informative, even if as an accidental byproduct of their activities.
Business Week has named him one of "the world's most influential designers," the influence from his books, essasys, courses and students, lectures, and consulting.
He takes special delight in the interaction of people and technology. "Develop the skill of observation," he councils: especially pay attention to the obvious. "Question the obvious and you will dis cover many hidden insights. What seems to be obvious often is not."
He is a fellow of many organizations and former lots of things, including VP at Apple Computer and even President of a startup. He has honorary degrees from the University of Padua (Italy) and the Technical University Delft (the Netherlands). He was awarded the Benjamin Franklin medal in Computer and Cognitive Science and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is known for his books "The Design of Everyday Things," "Emotional Design," and "The Design of Future Things," but he is most proud of his students, now all over the world, who put into practice his human-centered design philosophy. his latest book is "Living with Complexity," which argues that complexity is necessary: Our tools must match our tasks. When people cry out for simplicity, they are wrong -- people want understanding. That is not the same as simplicity -- simple thing are often the most confusing.
He is currently revising "Design of Everyday Things" to keep the message the same but update the examples. Expected publication date is August 2013.
He lives at www.jnd.org, where you can find chapters from his books and loads of essays.
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Titles By Donald A. Norman
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.
If only today's technology were simpler! It's the universal lament, but it's wrong. In this provocative and informative book, Don Norman writes that the complexity of our technology must mirror the complexity and richness of our lives. It's not complexity that's the problem, it's bad design. Bad design complicates things unnecessarily and confuses us. Good design can tame complexity.
Norman gives us a crash course in the virtues of complexity. Designers have to produce things that tame complexity. But we too have to do our part: we have to take the time to learn the structure and practice the skills. This is how we mastered reading and writing, driving a car, and playing sports, and this is how we can master our complex tools.
Complexity is good. Simplicity is misleading. The good life is complex, rich, and rewarding—but only if it is understandable, sensible, and meaningful.
Emotions are inseparable from how we humans think, choose, and act. In Emotional Design, cognitive scientist Don Norman shows how the principles of human psychology apply to the invention and design of new technologies and products. In The Design of Everyday Things, Norman made the definitive case for human-centered design, showing that good design demanded that the user's must take precedence over a designer's aesthetic if anything, from light switches to airplanes, was going to work as the user needed. In this book, he takes his thinking several steps farther, showing that successful design must incorporate not just what users need, but must address our minds by attending to our visceral reactions, to our behavioral choices, and to the stories we want the things in our lives to tell others about ourselves. Good human-centered design isn't just about making effective tools that are straightforward to use; it's about making affective tools that mesh well with our emotions and help us express our identities and support our social lives. From roller coasters to robots, sports cars to smart phones, attractive things work better. Whether designer or consumer, user or inventor, this book is the definitive guide to making Norman's insights work for you.
The world is a mess. Our dire predicament, from collapsing social structures to the climate crisis, has been millennia in the making and can be traced back to the erroneous belief that the earth’s resources are infinite. The key to change, says Don Norman, is human behavior, covered in the book’s three major themes: meaning, sustainability, and humanity-centeredness. Emphasize quality of life, not monetary rewards; restructure how we live to better protect the environment; and focus on all of humanity. Design for a Better World presents an eye-opening diagnosis of where we’ve gone wrong and a clear prescription for making things better.
Norman proposes a new way of thinking, one that recognizes our place in a complex global system where even simple behaviors affect the entire world. He identifies the economic metrics that contribute to the harmful effects of commerce and manufacturing and proposes a recalibration of what we consider important in life. His experience as both a scientist and business executive gives him the perspective to show how to make these changes while maintaining a thriving economy. Let the change begin with this book before it’s too late
¿Por qué los teléfonos modernos tienen teclas que no sirven para nada? ¿Por qué no se sabe, con frecuencia, si para abrir una puerta hay que empujar, o tirar, o si se trata de una puerta deslizante? ¿Por qué es tan difícil entender un manual de instrucciones?
Con muchos ejemplos similares y en clave de humor, Donald A. Norman, uno de los psicólogos más imaginativos de las últimas décadas, analiza los problemas del diseño de los objetos que nos rodean en la vida cotidiana y el tipo de conocimiento que cada uno requiere. La obra es también una amena y lúcida lección de psicología que utiliza el diseño como excusa.
"Todos somos víctimas de la perversidad natural de los objetos inanimados. He aquí un libro que, por fin, se revuelve contra los objetos, los diseñadores, los fabricantes y el resto de los seres humanos que originan y mantienen esta perversidad." Isaac Asimov
"Un libro entretenido y apasionante, lleno de historias sobre cómo se diseñan los objetos y sobre cómo deberían ser diseñados." R. Shank, catedrático de Psicología de la Universidad de Yale
"Un libro lleno de encanto, de enorme importancia para todos los que vivimos en un mundo de máquinas que no sabemos manejar y manuales de instrucciones que no nos ayudan a aprender, y para aquellos que diseñan el mundo. Los psicólogos nos acusan de haber perdido el contacto con nuestros sentimientos; Norman demuestra que ni siquiera tenemos contacto con los objetos que nos rodean." The Magazine of International Design
Insightful and whimsical, profoundly intelligent and easily accessible, Don Norman has been exploring the design of our world for decades, exploring this complex relationship between humans and machines. In this seminal work, fully revised and updated, Norman gives us the first steps towards demanding a person-centered redesign of the machines we use every day.
Humans have always worked with objects to extend our cognitive powers, from counting on our fingers to designing massive supercomputers. But advanced technology does more than merely assist with memory—the machines we create begin to shape how we think and, at times, even what we value. In THINGS THAT MAKE US SMART, Donald Norman explores the complex interaction between human thought and the technology it creates, arguing for the development of machines that fit our minds, rather than minds that must conform to the machine.
For decades, Don Norman has spoken the language of gadgets, explaining how the things we see every day are made and made better. In this smart, sharp, fun exploration of design, Norman pulls back the curtain on the things we make to make our lives easier.
From water faucets and airplane cockpits to the concept of "real time" and the future of memory, this wide-ranging tour through technology provides a new understanding of how the gadgets that surround us affect our lives. Donald A. Norman explores the plight of humans living in a world ruled by a technology that seems to exist for its own sake, oblivious to the needs of the people who create it. TURN SIGNALS is an intelligent, whimsical, curmudgeonly look at our love/hate relationship with machines, as well as a persuasive call for the humanization of modern design.
Part I on memory systems covers topics such as a system for perception and memory; multi-trace strength theory of memory; and a model for postperceptual verbal memory that postulates a single memory store, with multiple copies, called replicas, created in memory by rehearsal processes. Part II presents studies phoneme storage and word recognition. Part III on memory for associations examines the storage-retrieval theory for the memorizing processes and presents simple model of short-term memory (STM) for paired associates. Part IV on storage and retrieval mechanisms deals with mechanisms of repetition and rehearsal in short-term memory; models of recall and recognition; and memory search models. Part V presents a theory of human long-term associative memory; and examines conceptual and methodological interactions between information-processing investigations of cognitive activity and attempts to build models of memory.