Essays & Articles
Engineers and business executives are good at solving problems, but they seldom ask if it is the correct problem.
Human- and humanity-centered designers are trained to address the core, underlying factors, not just the symptoms.
Simplicity is in the mind, complexity is in the world.
If you understand something, then even things that are complex become simple. The complexity of the product must match the complexity of the task.
Failures? No — Learning Experiences
We scientists (and designers) learn from our failures. In fact, scientists seldom fail. Instead, they say “that didn’t work. Time to try something new.” I prefer never to talk of failure. Instead, I say “that...
Design must change from being unintentionally destructive to being intentionally constructive
I learn more by being wrong than by being right
When people praise my ideas it is nice to hear, but I don’t learn anything. If people disagree, I learn. If they convince me, I am thankful and I change. If I believe I was...
If you can think of a clever solution in a few hours, assume many others have already done so
If you can think of a clever new concept or solution to an existing problem in a few minutes or hours, then you should recognize that many people all over the world, many who have...
Make it Simple? No! Make it Understandable.
Make it Simple? No! Make it Understandable. When people make things "simple" by minimizing controls, they make it much more difficult to work or to understand.
Simplicity is in the mind, Complexity is in the world. Why? Things you understand are simple.
It is the designer’s job to take complex requirements and make them so understandable and appropriate that they are pronounced “simple.”
The universe is made of stories, not atoms
A quote from the poet Muriel Rukeyzer’s book “The speed of darkness.” Why stories? Because they combine history and context, critical events and results, both good and bad, expected and unexpected all linked through causal...
You are being too logical, I often tell engineers and executives.
“You are being too logical,” I explain. “People are not logical. Logic is artificial. It was invented by mathematicians and philosophers. It is not how people think, which is why it is so difficult for...
Design for people the way they are, not for how you want them to be.
Suggested Readings From Design of Everyday Things, Revised editionDesign
Many people continually ask for my suggestions of readings in design. Here is an excerpt from the "Readings and Notes" section of the 2013 revision and expansion of the book Design of Everyday Things" that provides my list of general books for interaction design. The list of excellent books is mu...
May 19, 2013
4 minutes read
101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions: The Art of Chindogu.Essays
Every Chindogu is an almost useless object, but not every almost useless object is a Chindogu. In order to transcend the realms of the merely almost useless, and join the ranks of the really almost...
November 17, 2008
1 minute read