Don Norman

DOET-2002coverPhoto3-thumb – extracted from

Donald Arthur Norman (Dec 25′ 1935)
– Breed Professor of Design @ North Western University
– Also a former Vice-President of Apple Computer.
– 20 years ago, a psychologist and a popular design consultant.

I believe he is the founder of his site, By JND, it means “Just Noticeable Difference”. You can read more on that in his site. That’s all for the short introduction. And below is my conclusion after reading Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things”.

Affordances did not have to be perceivable or even knowable – they simply existed. According to him, people tend to search for clues, for any signs that might help them to cope and understand. It is the sign that is important; anything that might signify meaningful information. We, as designer, provides the clues. Forget about affordances, what user needs and what design must provide to them are simply, SIGNIFIERs.

Feedback provides REASSURANCE; of which result has been accomplished.

  • provides progress reports and time estimates
  • confirmation and affirmation
  • governing expectation.

And this variety of response serves as a communication. A communication which is sometimes linked to “Affordances” or rather what we have renamed it, “Signifier”. Lastly, a constraint restricts the scope, extend on the activity of signifier and feedback. According to Don Norman, constraints by themselves are often not sufficient to determine the proper reassembly of any device but the constraints reduce the amount that must be learned to a reasonably quantity.


~ by dosozin on November 15, 2009.

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