Design Of Everyday Things - Book Report/Review Example

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The most important issue raised by Norman in his book, Design of Everyday Things, is addressed in chapter three of the book where Norman proposes that behavior is a combination of knowledge in the head and knowledge in the world (p.386). Consequently, precision and accuracy are…
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Design of Everyday Things Most Important Issue Raised by Norman The most important issue raised by Norman in his book, Design of Everyday Things, is addressed in chapter three of the book where Norman proposes that behavior is a combination of knowledge in the head and knowledge in the world (p.386). Consequently, precision and accuracy are not essential when carrying out everyday things. On the contrary, the most essential thing is the ability to distinguish between the correct choices from the others. Norman refers to this ability as the perfect behavior.
Reasons why this Issue is the most Important
There are several reasons that give this issue its importance. One of these reasons, as mentioned above, is the fact that completeness of knowledge is not required when performing a task (Norman 387). Over the course of human civilization, people have come to accept the notion that operating most devices requires high levels of skills and accuracy. This notion has led to most people having trouble when operating devices since they feel they lack a ‘completeness of knowledge’ on how to operate these devices.
Another reason why this issue is so important is that it helps people appreciate that natural constraints are present and this limits people’s ability to use only their knowledge without combining it with information in the world (Norman 387). Among these natural constraints are the physical properties of objects. Each object tends to have its unique physical properties that limit its relationships with other objects.
The issue further addresses the presence of cultural constraints in the society, another key determinant of the ease with which people manage to do everyday things. Norman acknowledges that each society has artificial conventions that regulate social behavior (p.388). In order to operate devices or carry out any activity, people need to learn these cultural conventions, which in this context represent information in the world, and apply them in a wide variety of circumstances.
The issue also explains how the memory can serve as both knowledge in the head and as knowledge in the world. By serving both ways, the memory helps reduce the amount of time required to carry out an activity. Memory as knowledge in the head can be categorized into memory for arbitrary things, memory for meaningful relationships, and memory through explanation. These categories of memory require learning and although they are efficient, they can be hard to retrieve. On the other hand, memory as knowledge in the world has three models that include design model, user’s model, and the system image. Conclusively, when memory serves both ways then efficiency exist (Norman 390).
Comment on Another Student’s Response
‘I have read your post and noted your regard for ‘Norman’s belief in the user-centered design is paramount to his overall philosophy’ as the most important issue. Even though I had a contrary view, this can as well be regarded as a key issue in the book. However, one can notice that the trend in products manufacturing has changed and more producers are using consumer-centered designs in their productions. This makes the issue, though important, not the most important.
Works Cited
Norman, Donald. The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2002. Print. Read More
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