The Design of Everyday Things | Response

Don Norman sure does have a unique tone. His semi-sarcastic style of writing this piece, “The Design of Everyday Things” was informative, yet also entertaining and it provided a good amount of insight into the design of things we interact with everyday.

One of the things I could relate to was his quote, “We have to accept human behavior the way it is, not the way we wish it to be.” I really struggle with realizing that how humans act usually does not correlate with how they should act. I have never considered this from the design standpoint, but I can imagine it would be particularly problematic to design something that only an ideal society could benefit from.

Another section that stuck with me was his thoughts on a human-centered design. I agreed wholeheartedly with his idea that the design should be based around humans and their needs. However, like we discussed in class today, I disagree that good designs produce pleasurable experiences. I think that the design should go unnoticed. I believe this because of how fast-paced the world has become. In my experience, I don’t have time to really admire or enjoy the design of an object because I am too busy thinking about four other things or focusing on getting the function of the design completed. We don’t have time to admire how the design works, we just need it to work. Unfortunately, that means the designer is a life that can often go unpraised.

From reading this, I will definitely pay more attention to making my designs human centric and focused on mapping. Incorporating things like feedback and conceptual models will be an interesting thing to develop into my own work, as I figure out my design style and how to best make a functional device.

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