Design for users-the design of everyday things

We use so many different auto objects and machines in our daily life, TV, fridge, microwave, phone, computer things etc, but have you ever doubt on them due to malfunction? Well,《The design of everyday things》tells you that at least you should think of that possibilities instead of blaming yourself for being stupid if things are not running as expected. Let’s check out.

Wikipedia phrases that ‘The Design of Everyday Things is a best-selling book by cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald Norman about how design serves as the communication between object and user, and how to optimize that conduit of communication in order to make the experience of using the object pleasurable. One of the main premises of the book is that although people are often keen to blame themselves when objects appear to malfunction, it is not the fault of the user but rather the lack of intuitive guidance that should be present in the design.’ Before reading this book, I blame myself on the consequence of making errors by not being familiar with machines, but never questioned the machine itself and maybe it happens to you as well. And this book taught me another perspective.

The design model is the designer’s conceptual model. The user’s model is the mental model developed through interaction with the system.

Donald Norman

The designers have their perspective on how to make machines functioning, while the users want to know how to use it and hope for the best results. Two different perspectives achieve two different approaches. That’s why the users encounter some difficulties when using machines but the designers questioning the user’s brain. In the face of this dilemma, Donald Norman popularized the term user-centered design, which he had previously referred to in User-Centered System Design in 1986, which has the same essence as Human-centered design. He brought it out that the design should be based on the needs of the user, not the designer’s own fantacy. And I believe this is where the design thinking and service design comes from, a method to put users in the center and design from their perspective to meet their needs.

So stop blaming yourself on automatic machines which are designed from the designer’s mind, rather you should raise up the difficulties you faced, and it may help to develop the new version of the machine. You can find the whole book online here. This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.

By Social Innovation Insight

We are the bridge of change!

2 replies on “Design for users-the design of everyday things”

Hi, I just looked at your site and really impressed by it’s design and content. You are doing a great job by providing such information to the people. Thank you so much.


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We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.

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