The hardest part of design ... is keeping features out.

— Donald A. Norman

The most scandalous Donald A. Norman quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

Computer scientists have so far worked on developing powerful programming languages that make it possible to solve the technical problems of computation. Little effort has gone toward devising the languages of interaction.

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Isn't one of your first exercises in learning how to communicate to write a description of how to tie your shoelaces? The point being that it's basically impossible to use text to show that

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In my opinion, no single design is apt to be optimal for everyone.

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Also note that invariably when we design something that can be used by those with disabilities, we often make it better for everyone

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When a device as simple as a door has to come with an instruction manual—even a one-word manual—then it is a failure, poorly designed.

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Go to the bookstore and look at how many bookshelves are filled with books trying to explain how to work the devices. We don't see shelves of books on how to use television sets, telephones, refrigerators or washing machines. Why should we for computer-based applications?

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The world is complex, and so too must be the activities that we perform.

But that doesn't mean that we must live in continual frustration. No. The whole point of human-centered design is to tame complexity, to turn what would appear to be a complicated tool into one that fits the task, that is understandable, usable, enjoyable.

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In the consumer economy taste is not the criterion in the marketing of expensive soft drinks, usability is not the primary criterion in the marketing of home and office appliances. We are surrounded with objects of desire, not objects of use.

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I think a successful company is one where everybody owns the same mission.

Out of necessity, we divide ourselves up into discipline groups. But the goal when you are actually doing the work is to somehow forget what discipline group you are in and come together. So in that sense, nobody should own user experience; everybody should own it.

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I believe that robots should only have faces if they truly need them

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Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.

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User experience is really the whole totality.

Opening the package good example. It's the total experience that matters. And that starts from when you first hear about a product experience is more based upon memory than reality. If your memory of the product is wonderful, you will excuse all sorts of incidental things.

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About Donald A. Norman

Quotes 87 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday December 25, 1935

I believe that the Apple Shuffle is an excellent compromise among the conflicting requirements of simplicity, elegance, size, battery life, and function

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No product is an island. A product is more than the product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. Think through all of the stages of a product or service - from initial intentions through final reflections, from first usage to help, service, and maintenance. Make them all work together seamlessly. That's systems thinking.

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The major problems facing the development of products that are safer, less prone to error, and easier to use and understand are not technological: they are social and organizational.

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Attractive things work better When you wash and wax a car, it drives better, doesn’t it? Or at least feels like it does.

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If you're more susceptible to interruption, you do more out of the box thinking.

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Technology usually provides a series of tradeoffs.

Each asset is offset by a deficit...A major problem occurs when those who suffer from technology's defecits and those who benefit are not the same people.

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When I use a direct manipulation system whether for text editing, drawing pictures, or creating and playing games I do think of myself not as using a computer but as doing the particular task. The computer is, in effect, invisible. The point cannot be overstressed: make the computer system invisible.

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Am I an Apple bigot? No. I can critique their products and their customer service philosophy. But overall, they do better than any other player.

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I've been looking at the iPod- the Apple iPod.

One of the interesting things about the iPod, one of the things that people love most about it is not the technology; it's the box it comes in

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To me, error analysis is the sweet spot for improvement.

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The best kind of design isn't necessarily an object, a space, or a structure: it's a process- dynamic and adaptable.

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A big ethical question is what happens after people stop using the device.

Does it degrade the environment? Could it have been designed so it would actually be good for the environment?

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Learning should take place when it is needed, when the learner is interested, not according to some arbitrary, fixed schedule

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In their work, designers often become expert with the device they are designing.

Users are often expert at the task they are trying to perform with the device. [...] Professional designers are usually aware of the pitfalls. But most design is not done by professional designers, it is done by engineers, programmers, and managers.

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Having the best product means nothing if the people won't buy it.

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Simplicity design axiom: The complexity of the information appliance is that of the task, not the tool. The technology is invisible.

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So what does a good teacher do? Create tension - but just the right amount.

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I think there is a tendency in science to measure what is measurable and to decide that what you cannot measure must be uninteresting.

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I'm not a fan of technology . I'm a fan of pedagogy, of understanding how people learn and the most effective learning methods. But technology enables some exciting changes.

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The problem with emotion was that it was clearly something important, but-at least according to the old philosophy-it was something to overcome.

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The designer shouldn't think of a simple dichotomy between errors and correct behavior; rather, the entire interaction should be treated as a cooperative endeavor between person and machine, one in which misconceptions can arise on either side.

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We are victims of our own success. We have let technology lead the way, pushing ever faster to newer, faster, and more powerful systems, with nary a moment to rest, contemplate, and to reflect upon why, how, and for whom all this energy has been expended.

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Beauty and brains, pleasure and usability - they should go hand in hand.

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It is the duty of machines and those who design them to understand people.

It is not our duty to understand the arbitrary, meaningless dictates of machines.

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AS for all those mistakes I make - they are on purpose - to teach you how to deal with them

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Scientists are always skeptics.

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Technology may change rapidly, but people change slowly.

The principals [of design] come from understanding of people. They remain true forever.

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Academics get paid for being clever, not for being right.

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How do you discover a need that nobody yet knows about? This is where the product breakthroughs come through.

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The current paradigm is so thoroughly established that the only way to change is to start over again.

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When you have trouble with things—whether it's figuring out whether to push or pull a door or the arbitrary vagaries of the modern computer and electronics industries—it's not your fault. Don't blame yourself: blame the designer.

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If you think of the product as a service, then the separate parts make no sense - the point of a product is to offer great experiences to its owner, which means that it offers a service. And that experience, that service, comprises the totality of its parts: The whole is indeed made up of all of the parts. The real value of a product consists of far more than the product's components.

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In the university, professors make up artificial problems.

In the real world, the problems do not come in nice, neat packages. They have to be discovered.

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Our information lives will be better served when we are free to get to our information from wherever we are, with any device available.

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If people keep buying poorly designed products, manufacturers and designers will think they are doing the right thing and continue as usual.

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Hypertext makes a virtue out of lack of organization, allowing ideas and thoughts to be juxtaposed at will. [...] The advent of hypertext is apt to make writing much more difficult, not easier. Good writing, that is.

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Everything has a personality: everything sends an emotional signal.

Even where this was not the intention of the designer, the people who view the website infer personalities and experience emotions. Bad websites have horrible personalities and instill horrid emotional states in their users, usually unwittingly. We need to design things-products, websites, services-to convey whatever personality and emotions are desired.

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