Sunday, 30 October 2005

There's psychology in everyday things

I read about Donald A. Norman's book, The Design of Everyday Things, in an article a few years ago. Being the design-freak that I am, I made a self mental note that I would read it one day.

And my mental note reminder alarm didn't go off until recently. I don't remember what triggered it, but once it went off I immediately scoured my campus library for the book. To my disappointment, the library does not have any copy of it in its collection. However, they do have the next best thing: an earlier book the same author called The Psychology of Everyday Things (POET).

I'm quite sceptical about books that are written academicians because they tend make you flip through the dictionary every few sentences and consequently make the books less accessible to the ordinary readers.

This book is also written by an academic, but one who's a storyteller as well as a keen observer of the relationship between cognitive science and everyday life. POET is a noteworthy read for all designers and the ordinary, non-designer folk. In his book, Norman takes his readers on a breezy and entertaining guided tour on how design can either make or break a product and cites examples ranging from doors to nuclear plants.

I'm still reading the early chapters and I'm certainly looking forward to the later ones.

UPDATE I just learned from Norman's official website that both The Design of Everyday Things and The Psychology of Everyday Things are the same book, where the latter is harcover version while the former is the paperback version with new preface, introduction and, of course, title. Just my rezeki!


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