The Design of Everyday Things is a best-selling[1] book by cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald Norman about how design serves as the communication between object and user, and how to optimize that conduit of communication in order to make the experience of using the object pleasurable. One of the main premises of the book is that although people are often keen to blame themselves when objects appear to malfunction, it is not the fault of the user but rather the lack of intuitive guidance that should be present in the design.

Quick facts: Author, Original title, Country, Languag...
The Design of Everyday Things
First edition (original title)
AuthorDonald Norman
Original titleThe Psychology of Everyday Things
CountryUnited States
GenreDesign, Psychology, Business
PublisherBasic Books
Publication date

The book was originally published in 1988 with the title The Psychology of Everyday Things. Norman said his academic peers liked that title, but believed the new title better conveyed the content of the book and better attracted interested readers.[2]:ix It is often referred to by the initialisms POET and DOET.

Norman uses case studies to describe the psychology behind what he deems good and bad design, and proposes design principles. The book spans several disciplines including behavioral psychology, ergonomics, and design practice.

A major update of the book, The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition, was published in 2013.

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