Who’s this for?
Design enthusiasts or anyone interested in gaining a new perspective on their day to day life.
What’s it about?
Hugely influential in the field of design and usability, I remember reading Don Norman’s book The Design of Everyday Things as part of my masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction.
In plain English, it covers how the things we have come to use and interact with on a daily basis came to be designed in the way that they have. Everything from kettles to chairs to doors are analysed, and the design of things we take for granted every day are laid bare for us to see.
Once you’ve read about the optimum design for a door in a public space for example, you will never again see a door out and about in the same way – always keeping an eye out for doors everywhere that break the design rules outlined in Norman’s book – seemingly obvious once you know them.
It’s a fascinating read and one that paved the way for user-centred design in all things including the web.
Where can I find it?
You can find more information on the website of the Nielsen Norman group (co-founded by the author and usability mastermind Jakob Nielsen).