Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group
Design of Every day things (Revised) Complexity Future Things Emotional Design The invisible computer Things tha make us smart Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles user centred system design Emotional Design Learning and memory Human Information Processing Memory and attention

Recent Essays

Hill climbing in radical Innovation

27 July 2014

John Langrish challenged the analysis of Norman & Verganti on Incremental and Radical Innovation, arguing that we had ignored the evidence from Darwinian evolution. He called us "creationists." We find John Langrish's argument to be puzzling. We wrote a paper on product evolution and he chides us for failure to cite the literature in evolutionary biology. Similar issues have been faced in many disciplines. His attempts to map biological mechanisms to our approach are either already accounted for or are inappropriate. We are accused of being creationists. We plead guilty. That's what the field of design is all about: all-seeing, overarching designers who look over their creations and go in and change them. Designers have that luxury. Release a product and call it back for revision. Or completely change the next release, keeping the stuff that worked and deleting the stuff that didn't. Or completely repurpose it for some other usage that had not been considered at first. Radical innovation within the field of design does not come from hill-climbing. It comes from putting together things that never before were thought to belong together. It comes from the heart and mind of the designer. Yes, as designers we are creationists. We teach it, practice it, and take delight in it.

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Interviews & Videos

Verganti & Norman: Having a vision is not enough--it must be implemented

13 July 2014

Vision building is the most relevant and rare asset in our society. We do not live in a world where data and knowledge are missing. Indeed, it is just the opposite. The amount of information is overwhelming. What is rare is the capability to make sense of this enormous and complex picture, to go beyond the past and existing patterns and imagine what is not there. The new frontier is to explore the path to innovation by understanding the nature of vision building. For this purpose, we need new frameworks. We need to investigate the slippery intangible dimensions of thinking, the capability to unveil what is hidden into the mirror that reflects our role in the society.

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Recommended Reading

FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation. (Dan Ward)

18 May 2014

Large projects tend to fail: Software, construction, new aircraft, it doesn't matter -- they fail. Dan Ward offers a simple solution: don't do them. With the time and money allocated for one large project, do numerous small ones. Do them Fast and Inexpensive, with Restraint and Elegance: FIRE. It's a well-known principle, but it goes against the nature of organizations who wish to solve all their problems with one project. In consumer markets, it the disease I call featuritis. In industry, it's bloat. What's the alternative? FIRE. For anyone even remotely associated with large projects, this eminently sensible, highly readable book is required reading.

Recent recommended readings

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Keynote Addresses and Schedule

Don Norman
Contact information, bios, press photos, ...

Examples of talks
Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded Edition (DOET2), paperback and eBook.

Fundamentals (Chapters 1 and 2)  -- now available
This course has design exercises by Kristian Simsarian, IDEO Fellow and head of interaction design at CCA. Reflective thinking exercises implemented by Chelsey Glasson

See these excerpts

Schedule