About Don Norman


About Don Norman

I have lived multiple lives: University professor, Industry executive, consultant, keynote speaker, and author.

What field? Electrical engineering, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, computer science, and design. An Academic, Industry Executive, member of numerous academic and industry advisory boards and boards of directors. And a consultant.

I’ve retired 5 times, my first from the University of California, San Diego in 1993. My fifth retirement occurred after I returned to UC San Diego returned in 2014 to become the founding Director of the Design Lab: I retired from that in the seventh year of my five-year appointment on Dec. 31, 2020.

What were the other three retirements? Northwestern University, the Nielsen Norman group, and as a trustee at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology.

I am co-founder and principal of the User Experience/Usability consulting firm, the Nielsen Norman group, where I am now emeritus.

I have been an IDEO fellow and a member of the Board of Trustees of IIT’s Institute of Design in Chicago (now emeritus at IIT). Along the way I’ve been a VP at Apple, an executive at HP, with experience at startups ranging from investor, adviser, and member of the board of directors.

 I’ve received three honorary degrees, the Franklin Institute medal for Cognitive and Computer Science, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

In October 2021 I went to London to receive the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education for 2021. While in London I spent three days with people from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and at the London Design Museum which just opened its exhibit on “The Waste Age.” The major topic at both places was “What Can Design Do?” as we discussed how to convince manufacturers and designers to design for the Circular Economy with Circular Design principles. This visit was critical to the book “Design for a Better World” which has as a subtitle, Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered. Sustainability is roughly 1/3 of the book.


Academic Résumé (a PDF File)

Biographical sketches (a Microsoft Word File)