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The Design of Everyday Things

Revised and Expanded Edition
Written by: Don Norman
Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Design doesn't have to be complicated, which is why this guide to human-centered design shows that usability is just as important as aesthetics.

Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious - even liberating - audiobook, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization.

The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.

The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how - and why - some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2013 Don Norman (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Even classics can be updated and improved.... Highly recommended." (Choice)

"This book changed the field of design. As the pace of technological change accelerates, the principles in this book are increasingly important. The new examples and ideas about design and product development make it essential reading." (Patrick Whitney, dean, Institute of Design, and Steelcase/Robert C. Pew professor of design, Illinois Institute of Technology)

"Twenty-five years ago The Design of Everyday Things was instrumental in orienting my approach to design. With this latest revised and expanded edition, Don Norman has given me a host of new ideas to explore as well as reminding me of the fundamental principles of great and meaningful design. Part operating manual for designers and part manifesto on the power of designing for people, The Design of Everyday Things is even more relevant today than it was when first published." (Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO, and author of Change by Design)

What listeners say about The Design of Everyday Things

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    3 out of 5 stars

A must read, and not just for designer

Great for anyone, regardless of occupation. As informative as a textbook but far less dry. Give it a read!

1 person found this helpful

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This isn't just basics, it's foundation!

This book does such a succinct job at highlighting the primary pillars of good design. great read!

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  • LJ
  • 2020-10-01

Good book on design but lacks some fact checking

I learned some things about design and the design process, the author had many good points and interesting stories. I found the lack of fact-checking to be annoying. Some incorrect statements can be attributed to not being up to date but many incorrect statements were simply incorrect. I don't regret listening to it but I feel it could been a lot shorter, it could have been edited down quite a bit without loosing meaning.

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  • CD3748
  • 2019-05-21

The book works well in this format

I've just started it but it's an easy listen, and the book works well in this format. There are references to images/etc, but not too many and the concepts work as narration. Very useful to be able to multi-task and read it this way. A+

17 people found this helpful

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  • Ivelisse Capellan
  • 2019-01-07

Amazing book!

This book is an amazing guideline for every designer. Every concept is explained beautifully and also developed with daily common devices. I recommend this book 300% to not only product designers but product managers and engineers as well.

11 people found this helpful

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  • sammy k
  • 2019-09-01

Designers Start Here (missing visual references)

This book is a must-read for anyone getting into UX/ Product Design or any leader or CEO of a Product company! I would say, start with this book... it'll make everything that comes after easier to understand and really ties concepts together on a base level. Some chapters were difficult to get through, because of the amount of detail and I would advise to skip those if you don't think they relate to you. My one qualm was that Audible does not provide any visual resources - so that when the narrator references "fig. 2.3" for instance... you have no idea what visual is being talked about - and for me these were important pieces of missing information. So Audible, if you see this, please think about creating a way to view visual references or at least gain easy access to them!

35 people found this helpful

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  • James Endicott
  • 2019-10-22

Still a must read

There's a reason that this is the definitive book on design. The book will give you a new perspective on things you design as well as an understanding of why you find things frustrating.

3 people found this helpful

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  • I. Martins
  • 2019-07-09

Essencial book to understand design around us

One of the Best books that I ever "read", very easy to follow even if a bit technical sometimes. Excellent narration.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tara
  • 2020-03-12

Thought provoking - 4.5

A thought provoking view on the design of everyday things; why do we design technology and expect the humans to accommodate the technology instead of the other way around? The narrator is highly engaging and perfect for this book. The half point deduction is due to the author repeatedly pointing out the differences and updates made in this version compared to his initial book; as a new reader, such elaborations are lost to me and detract from the actual content. I highly recommend this book to anyone, and not just to designers, analysts, and/or engineers.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-15

Loved it!!

This book gave me a brand new perspective on the world and new avenues of thought in how I design systems and processed. Extremely valuable, highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-18

good book

it was a good book but got a little boring in the middle. didn't keep me hooked. perhaps it went into too much detail. perhaps.

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  • Camron Lupton
  • 2020-06-02

Incredible!

As an App Developer / Graphic Designer I've found this book incredibly practical and informative; which very often can result in boring and difficult to consume content, that was not the case. Don left me engaged with his pacing and analogous way of describing concepts. Would recomend for anyone regardless if the content would be practical in their career.

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  • Linda
  • 2020-02-15

Good Stuff

I wish I had read this years ago when I designing software, systems and databases. I learned most if this out. But there are still some great insights.

1 person found this helpful