Saturday, January 13, 2007

The key to simplicity - questions for Donald Norman

Don Norman answers some interesting questions about simplicity ...

"If we can't even get the simple things right, I ask, how can we have faith in those more complex ones?

Don Norman lives two lives: theory and applications. As a cognitive scientist, he studies, teaches, and writes about the relationship between technology and people. In his applied life, he helps companies make products that appeal to the emotions as well as to reason. (from his bio)

He was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for User Centered... (spanish translation via Moebius)

Regarding "everyday things" like can openers, wallets, and nail clippers. I've found it's tough to be taken seriously when discussing how the designs are poor or clever. With a common response I hear of "who cares?" -How do you justify to people the importance of design in such
mundane things?

DN: Actually, everybody seems to resonate with these problems, often coming up with their own examples. But whenever I talk about these problems, I explain that the very same difficulties are true of all devices, including safety-critical devices in our factories, power plants, and transportation systems. If we can't even get the simple things right, I ask, how can we have faith on those more complex ones?"    (Continued via User Centered)    [Usability Resources]

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