DesignOfEverydayThings - 1 The Design of Everyday Things...

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1 The Design of Everyday Things Donald A. Norman I. The Psychopathology of Everyday Things a. You Would Need an Engineering Degree to Figure this one Out i. Frustration of everyday objects - many modern day “simple” objects (thousands upon thousands) are needlessly complex and badly designed. ii. Visible clues help us operate these everyday objects. b. The Frustrations of Everyday Life i. Poor design predominates, example: glass doorway with indiscernible pillars in European post office. ii. Visibility - A design must make the correct parts visible, and have these parts convey the correct message. iii. Mapping - What you see; the physical setup of the object that shows you what appears to be possible. iv. “If people keep buying poorly designed products, manufacturers and designers will think they are doing the right thing and continue as usual.” 1. Designer needs to show how the user is to interact w/ the device this visibility indicates the mapping between intended actions and actual operations. c. The Psychology of Everyday Things i. Affordances - the “perceived and actual properties” of an object; what an object “is for.” 1. “When simple things need pictures need pictures, labels, or instructions, the design has failed.” 2. User should be able to tell what an object is for just by looking. 3. Everyday things also have a “psychology of causality,” which is only effective if there is a result to confirm the causality. ii. Twenty Thousand Everyday Things 1. Every simple object has countless simple components ( example- a stapler has 16 parts) . 2. With so many everyday things, it is important for designers to make these things have CLEAR operations. iii. Conceptual Models 1. When people look at objects, they form conceptual models to predict their functions and simulate their operations. 2. The conceptual model builds off the user’s ability to detect the object’s affordances, constraints, and mappings . 3. If the object ( example- Leitz projector ) has no visible relationships between buttons and their actions, a conceptual model cannot be formed. d. Principles of Design for Understandability and Usability i. Provide a Good Conceptual Model 1. Design fundamentals: conceptual model and visibility
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2 2. Conceptual models contribute to mental models , the models people have of themselves as well as other aspects of the world and how they interact. 3. System image - a person’s interpretation of the visible part of an object; the system image can only help if it is coherent and logical. ii. Make Things Visible 1. Inadequate visibility ruins appliances ( example- phone ) a. This inadequacy leads to “complex interfaces for essentially simple things.” b. In such inadequate systems, mappings are arbitrary and there is no visible structure. 2.
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DesignOfEverydayThings - 1 The Design of Everyday Things...

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