The Psychopathology Of Everyday Things Essays

The Psychopathology Of Everyday Things Essays

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The first chapter was about the psychopathology of everyday things. Norman outlines series of guidelines for design. These include: affordances, visibility, mapping, conceptual methods, feedback. Lack of any of these principles is a design flaw. Affordances just provides the user with clues to using the device. The other important principle is visibility, user should be able to interface with the device “naturally”, he states. Mappings is what you want and what is perceived possible. So, when you press a button and something happens in real world, that is mapping. Feedback is sending the user an action of what happened. Conceptual method is based on mappings, affordances, etc. Norman emphasizes that good conceptual method and visibility are the most important for a good design. Norman believes design is not an easy task, but he says technology shouldn’t come in the way of good design.
In the first chapter, the most interesting thing for me was thinking of design like this. I never went this depth into design, but design can be very detailed. It has many components overlooked by the user. I liked how Norman made it easier by explaining each principle with detailed explanation and examples.
The second chapter was about the psychology of everyday actions. People are filled with misconceptions. And user doesn’t always know how to use the device and they will feel sad, frustrated, or even stupid. Norman says humans are naïve and gives examples of people “cranking the thermostat all the way will make us reach a desired temperature faster.” Norman describes two kind of helplessness: learned and taught. Learned helplessness is when you repeatedly fail a task and fell you cannot do it anymore. And Taught helplessness is believing that ...


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...member, tools not only control what we do, but how we do it and the way we view ourselves, society and the world! Our design can change a task, a society, and the world.
In the seventh chapter, the most interesting thing for me was how Norman said difficult design is good design. He also mentioned less controls makes the design look easy. And I can see how design can change our society, and the world. I thought it was interesting that Norman said, “We must fight for and reward good design, and do the opposite for bad design.”
The whole book was interesting to me. I had never thought of design to this level. Since I want to be an engineer, this book would certainly help me in the future. I also liked how Norman put examples for almost everything he talked about. That was helpful to visualize the situation. The book is a good read, and would recommend it to others.

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