Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to determine 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 On a regular basis Things shows that good, usable design is imaginable. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and regulate, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right regulate on the right time.

In this entertaining and insightful analysis, cognitive scientist Don Norman hails excellence of design as an important key to regaining the competitive edge in influencing consumer behavior. Now fully expanded and up to date, with a new introduction by the creator, The Design of On a regular basis Things is a powerful primer on how—and why—some products satisfy customers even as others only frustrate them.

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