Reading notes (The Design of Everyday Things)

Things that amuse me or caught my eye.

  • The husband (an engineering psychologist) said he refused to go near it. The wife (a physician) said she had simply memorized one setting and tried to ignore the rest. I asked to see the manual: it was just as confusing as the device. The whole purpose of the design is lost. p4
  • Human-centered design is a design philosophy. It means starting
    with a good understanding of people and the needs that the
    design is intended to meet. This understanding comes about primarily
    through observation, for people themselves are often unaware
    of their true needs, even unaware of the difficulties they are
    encountering.p9 for example observing my mobile app design for mobile 1
  • Conceptual models are valuable in providing understanding, in
    predicting how things will behave, and in figuring out what to do
    when things do not go as planned. A good conceptual model allows
    us to predict the effects of our actions. Without a good model, we operate
    by rote, blindly; we do operations as we were told to do them;
    we can’t fully appreciate why, what effects to expect, or what to do
    if things go wrong. p26 like the scenario model…
  • Why do we need to know about the human mind? Because things
    are designed to be used by people, and without a deep understanding
    of people, the designs are apt to be faulty, difficult to use, difficult to understand. That is why it is useful to consider the seven stages of action. for example the finger movement thingy.  p44 it reminds me of smart onscreen keyboard/ auto correct.
  • In psychology, there has been a long debate about which happens
    first: emotion or cognition. Do we run and flee because some
    event happened that made us afraid? Or are we afraid because
    our conscious, reflective mind notices that we are running? The
    three-level analysis shows that both of these ideas can be correct.
    Sometimes the emotion comes first. An unexpected loud noise can
    cause automatic visceral and behavioral responses that make us
    flee. p54 Reminds me of error messages and alert warnings
  • The idea of removing failure from our vocabulary. Scientists know this. Scientists do experiments to learn how the world works. Sometimes their experiments work as expected, but often they don’t. Are these failures? No, they are learning experiences. Many of the most important scientific discoveries have come from these so-called failures. Failure can be such a powerful learning tool… p64