• The Design of Everyday Things

  • Revised and Expanded Edition
  • By: Don Norman
  • Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,366 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

Critic Reviews

"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)

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What listeners say about The Design of Everyday Things

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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+

35 people found this helpful

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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.

18 people found this helpful

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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!

58 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Required read for all designers

For a designer this book is as important as anatomy is for a medicine student.
I myself transitioned to UX after achieving my masters in architecture. I feel like a great void in my design education was filled. Can’t wait to read more from our wise sensei Don Norman :)
Thanks

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Not great.

this is just a book of motley mostly obvious ideas about product development. more for UI/UX designers than engineers.

5 people found this helpful

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  • W.
  • 05-02-19

Audio quality issue

Great narrator giving life to book and very easy to understand but poor audio quality, voice sounds distorted.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lekan
  • 09-20-19

very informative

found it very technical in parts but still understandable. book didn't have a natural flow so one should take it as reference guide than a story of design thinking.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joe T
  • 07-29-21

Useful thought provoking

I enjoyed the book, a great overview at the fundamentals of design thinking.
I have experienced many of the same things that he discusses in his anecdotes although I don’t agree with his conclusions I will leave it to others to make up their mind.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Isaac D
  • 02-22-21

Fantastic

I’ve recently embarked on a journey into the world of UX/UI design, and the lessons I have learnt from this book are something that will stick with me my entire life. The examples, the explanations, the breakdowns, the look back into history, the ease of digestibility. Really really enjoyable and I highly recommend for anybody wanting to know about the fundamentals of design. Ve

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-19-20

Excellent overview of design

Very useful for non designers, but sometimes felt it could be a bit more concise.

1 person found this helpful

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  • alain brooker
  • 04-03-22

fantastic

fantastic! a wonderful way of looking at the world which I have already adopted

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  • Hakan Efe Turgut
  • 03-12-22

It Is A Masterpiece

It's a masterpiece for the people who are interested in design (to be frank everyone must read/listen to it), from the very bottom to the top.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-30-21

really interesting book

drove me to learn more and I'm a trained designer , fun book and really interesting

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  • Mr A Khan
  • 07-28-21

Timely reboot

I first came across this book 20 years ago as an undergraduate in product design, I never got to read all of it... I'm thrilled to have finally gone through all of it, and even more about the extra bonus of new relevant parts Don included... Many will tell you this book will change your life and is the foundation for any designer... I think if everyone read this, the world could be a better place.

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  • Alex Palmer
  • 06-09-21

I did not buy this book

Why did it show up in my list? Looks good, but I have a long queue of books with higher priority and there is no option to get my credit back

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  • Tony
  • 02-21-21

good material and thought provoking

i got value from this but it could have been condensed a lot without losing anything

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  • Jacques Leemans
  • 11-17-20

A must read for any engineer, designer or leader

The principals taught in this book can be applied to almost any company, large and small, and in any industry. Fantastic book that has stood the test of time.

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  • Roberto Deoliveira
  • 04-30-19

Bought it twice!

This book is SO good. I believe it’s a must. I bought the kindle version and audio. Love it! Will read again and again.