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The Design of Everyday Things

Revised and Expanded Edition
Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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Summary

The ultimate guide to human-centered design.

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)

What members say

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  • W.
  • 02-05-19

Audio quality issue

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

2 people found this helpful

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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.

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Excellent overview of design

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

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<br />Common sense

Great book going into detail on common sense that is not so common
to get the best out of the book I believe you should be working on a project and apply as you listen

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Great for a product designer

Essential reading for any product designer, professional or student. Many of the things highlighted are vital for good product design.

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Truly beautiful book

One of the best books I have read recently. Had no idea that design process can be so complex and fascinating at the same time. Anyone who crate things should read this book.

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For every Designer and student of Design!

Excellent book on design - design thinking, user experience, human centred design, product design, product development, usability... with dozens of real life examples. By one of the leading names in the design industry and ‘father of UX’ (Apple, HP, Neilson Norman Group). Updated in 2013 the principles in this book will stand the test of time for decades to come. Norman also wrote Living with Complexity and Emotional Design.

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The best book about design you need to read!

Very useful for all design disciplines.
Great resource to learn about the Double Diamond design process.

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An essential audio book voiced wonderfully

It has been and will always be an essential book that I believe everyone even those who do not design, can easily benefit from. Very formal, well voiced to the point where I thought Don Norman was actually reading his own book and overall a wonderful learning experience.

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Wow! I’ve been waiting...

... a long time for this book to be available from audible. And it didn’t disappoint. More books by Don Norman, please!

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  • CD3748
  • 21-05-19

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+

16 people found this helpful

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  • Ivelisse Capellan
  • 07-01-19

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • sammy k
  • 01-09-19

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!

33 people found this helpful

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  • James Endicott
  • 22-10-19

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
  • 09-07-19

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • GrrrroW!!!
  • 06-02-20

Good for learning about design

This book made me not feel so bad about user error, since maybe it wasn't my fault but instead the fault of bad design

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bernard Goldbach
  • 06-01-20

An essential listen on the Clonmel Digital Campus

I teach creative designers with several elements of design material from Don Norman on our curriculum. This audio book complements the hard cover, PDF worksheets, and Office Sway that helps students listen when working off campus. They know they are hearing many of the UX fundamentals common not only in digital space but throughout societies across the world.

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  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 06-01-20

So much bigger than conventional design

"Design" as this book talks about it goes beyond product design. It addresses the psychology of how we make our world work. This extends to products, politics, and nations. Given how academic and broad the topics are, it's surprising how practical the advice is also. The book does often get more academic than necessary and good editing could have trimmed down some repetition but that's nitpicking. The important ideas within this book made me frequently stop listening so I could share the ideas with others.

Regarding the pdf -- yes, I believe this book would work better if you can see the charts and examples. However, I'm often a car listener and I could follow along just fine anyway.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-12-19

A great listen if a little on the dry side

This was a required reading for a class I’m taking, but it’s well worth getting it “read” as I’m doing chores. Great, clear narrator with a great amount of enthusiasm for the subject matter. Design can be a bit of a dull subject, but how it’s presented and the processes of it will certainly make me question the way things work for years to come.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deal hunter
  • 13-11-19

must read!

I wanted to read this book for so long and an so glad audible had it. the narration was clear and engaging. the book by itself is a classic

1 person found this helpful