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Chapter 1

The two most imperative attributes of good plan are:

1. Discoverability - A client can make sense of what activities are conceivable and how to
perform them utilizing the item (How would i be able to utilize it?)
2. Understanding - A client comprehends the advantage of utilizing the item and how to
determine it (Why would it be advisable for me to utilize it?)

The Complexity of Modern Devices

Start with the commence: every counterfeit thing are planned.
This isn't to imply that that they are planned well, or that much idea is put into
them - however they are deliberately created and organized by somebody. What's more,
given that, at that point there are a colossal number of things that affect the day by day
lives of present day man that have been planned - and except if you're on an outdoors trip
in the wild, odds are the quantity of "structured" questions in your condition far dwarf the
ones that are really normal.

The writer intends to concentrate on three zones:

1. Mechanical Design - An assembling practice that thinks about the capacity, esteem, and
appearance of an item for the shared advantage of both client and maker

2. Collaboration Design - An innovation rehearses that considers not only the gadget's
capacity, but rather the manner by which the client must communicate with the gadget

3. Experience Design - An administration industry practice that considers the manner by

which the client will associate with a business, with an objective of expanding the quality
and satisfaction in the aggregate understanding.
Basically, these controls considers the manner by which individuals must carry on
to achieve an objective, which is a takeoff from prior types of plan which concentrated
totally on the gadget, question, or process and regarded the general population as being of
little significance.

What is Human Centered Design?

Human-centered design (HCD) is an approach that begins with the needs,
capabilities, and behaviors of human beings and asks, what must a device do to enable
the person to accomplish a task (rather than the other way around). But more than that,
it's recognizing that people don't wish to accomplish tasks - they wish to gain benefits,
and performing a task is a means to achieve a desired benefit.

Fundamental Principles of Interaction

The activity of the creator is to deliver a pleasurable and gainful experience - not
an ideal protest. Engineerins will in general fixate on the flawlessness of the items they
are making, and go for a gadget that is a ponder of innovation, and which might be
troublesome, confounding, and convey no an incentive to the individual who utilizes it.
The creator at that point makes an ungainly change to the "essential standards" of
collaboration: affordances, signifiers, limitations, mappings, and reasonable models.

1. Affordances
The author suggests that an "affordance" means a signal to the user that indicates
to him how an object is to be used. His definition is broad enough to reflect actual
affordances, such as a push-plate on a door indicating the user should push to open, along
with natural properties, such as a shelf's flatness being an affordance that indicates things
should be placed on it.

Affordances exist even if they are not visible - just because an individual does not
know how to operate the switch that turns a device on doesn't mean that the device lacks
an affordance for being turned on - merely that the person cannot figure out how to do it.

2. Signifiers
A signifier is something that indicates to the user that an affordance exists for him to
do something.
The problem for designers is a practical one: to make the capabilities of a product
available to the user - and not merely available, but obvious and understandable at a
glance. This may mean changing the form of the object itself so that the means to operate
it are self-evident, or more aptly that they are understood by the user, or adding signifiers
to make them evident when they are not.
3. Mapping
Mapping is a technical term, borrowed from mathematics, meaning the
relationship between the elements of two sets of things. "Natural" mapping refers to a
situation in which the arrangement of controls matches the arrangement of items they
To understand how to place and arrange controls effectively requires considering
the behavior of the user, not the properties of the device.
4. Feedback
It is a sign to the client that he has accomplished something. Great criticism is
noticeable and prompt - even the deferral of a tenth of a second has been appeared to
perplex. In a perfect world, it is additionally useful.
Planning criticism well is along these lines a troublesome parity - giving the client
enough, without giving them excessively, both as far as the recurrence and data
substance of the input.
A final note is the intensity of feedback: feedback that confirms that an action has
been understood should be subtle and unobtrusive.

Principles of Design
1.Provide a good conceptual model - The proper System Image and immediate feedback
for each operation can help users form a clear, concise, and correct mental model
2. Make things possible
a. Use good natural mappings and proper visibility to help the user understand of
possible operations, their effects, and the system state
b. The number of controls should be ≧ the number of functions a device
performs, so each can be specifically mapped to a particular function

Designer’s Responsibility
The Designer must balance the conflicting needs of others that help realize a
product design:

a. Manufacturer: the product can be produced economically and efficiently

b. Store: the product should be attractive to customers
c. Purchaser: the price, appearance, prestige value of a product at the Store
d. User: the functionality and usability of a product at home
e. Repairer: the product’s maintainability; how easy it is to take apart, diagnose,
and service


A "conceptual model" is an explanation of the way in which a user expects a

thing to work. This is different to an engineering model, which is accurate and detailed.
He mentions that users bring their own mental models to a device, and those
mental models may be wrong.
The conceptual model evolves during interaction with a device. Some objects
provide instructions by their physical form: a user can easily figure out how to use a
hammer just by virtue of the shape of the device and needs no instruction. Or then handle
can be designed in such a way that there are grooves for the user's fingers, helping them
to know not just where to grasp it, but how to grasp it.
The conceptual model is a valuable way to approach a design - consider what a
user is likely to believe or likely to try before approaching a device, and then design the
device to accommodate that behavior inasmuch as it is possible to do so. If you can pull
that off, the device is easy to use and requires no learning or thinking to operate.

The Paradox of Technology

The paradox of technology is that it guarantees to make life less demanding and
progressively pleasant - and yet every innovation we acquire is troublesome and
The issue is that the more capacities, the greater the complexity, the harder it is to
utilize, and the more uncertain anybody is to utilize the additional capacities. Or, in other
words, the more it does the less valuable it is, which is another oddity of innovation.
Source:Books, Design, Independent Study, Notes, The Design of Everyday Things by

Chapter 2: The Psychology of Everyday Actions

Human psychology is a critical element of working with devices. The reason we
take an action is to obtain something we desire, which is caused my motivation and
cognition. The reason we feel frustrated with a device that doesn't allow us to do what we
want is because of the extra effort we must undertake to figure the device out, as well as
damage to our self-esteem for being unable to do it , though the latter is a false sense of
guilt, which should be visited upon the designer rather than the user.
Perception, analysis, imagination, and other processes that are used to develop
an understanding of a situation and envision an action that will help us achieve the goal.
This engages a number of rational and emotional processes with which designers should
be more familiar.


The challenges of evaluation and execution transcend interaction styles and
device types.
When it comes to solving design problems, the granularity of breaking down
evaluation and execution into specific subtasks sheds light on the detailed reasons why
designs fail, because it adopts a user-centered perspective. Heuristics like ‘make the
system status visible’ tell you what a good design should do, but they don’t necessarily
explain how to do it. Pinpointing whether a problem lies with visibility or interpretation
gives you a better starting point for brainstorming solutions.
Users must bridge the gulfs of evaluation and execution to successfully interact
with a design, but the challenge becomes much easier when the system’s creators are
aware of these gulfs, and build in cues to send users down the right path.

How to execute:
Start at the top with the goal, the state that is to be achieved.
The goal is translated into an intention to do some action.
The intention must be translated into a set of internal commands, an action sequence that can
be performed to satisfy the intention.
The action sequence is still a mutual event: nothing happens until it is executed, performed
upon the world.

How to evaluate:

 Evaluation starts with our perception of the world.

 This perception must then be interpreted according to our expectations.
 Then it is compared (evaluated) with respect to both our intentions and our goals.

The Seven Stages of Action

The author considers a seven-stage model for human action:

1. Goal - The user is aware of something he wishes to achieve

2. Plan - The user has a vague sense of what he needs to do it
3. Specify - The user understands the actions they must do
4. Perform - The user undertakes the actions
5. Perceive - The user recognizes the change in the device
6. Interpret - The user recognizes the practical change
7. Compare - The user compares the outcome with his goal

A large number of the undertakings we perform are intended to achieve sub-

objectives. The individual who turns on a light does not wish simply to make the room more
brilliant, but rather is doing the undertaking with the goal that he may do another assignment.
his can be investigated further because he is not reading a book merely to read the book, but
for another reason. So he turns on the lamp to read the book, reads the book to gain
knowledge, gains knowledge to have competence, has competence in order to impress his
boss, impresses his boss to be regarded as a value to the firm.

Cognition and Emotion


He uses the term "visceral" to describe the basic level of processing, which is largely related to
immediate survival: the reflex actions we have to defend against or avoid threats. This figures
into not only the way in which we flinch in response to a perceived threat, but also things such as
a fear of heights or a dislike of bitter tastes. They are not necessarily negative reactions, as
people can also be observed to move toward things they like or to have a fondness or attraction
to things that give them comfort and pleasure.


The author suggests another level that is somewhat like conditioning: people have quick
responses based on learned behaviors. Because the light switch is generally on the wall beside
the door at a certain height, people will reach to exactly that spot when they enter a dark room
because the behavior has been conditioned.


The author considers the "reflective" level to exist when an individual must exercise a conscious
process of thought. He examines a device to think about the way it works before attempting to
interact with it.

The Seven Stages of Action: Seven Fundamental Design Principles

1. Discoverability. The user can determine what actions are possible.

2. Feedback. The device should inform the user that the action has been initiated, that it is in
progress, when he can expect it to be completed, and that it has been completed, along
with any pertinent information at each step.
3. Understanding. The user should gather an accurate conceptual model of the system, so he
understands how it operates and has a feeling of confidence and control.
4. Affordances. The user should recognize how to activate the abilities provided to him by
the device.
5. Signifiers. If affordances and feedback is not recognizable based on the level of
knowledge presumed of the user, then signifiers should be used to help identify and
understand them.
6. Mappings. The relationship between controls and the actions they control should be clear,
related inasmuch as possible to space and time as the user perceives them.
7. Constraints. It should also be clear to the user what he cannot or should not do.
Chapter 3- Knowledge in the Head and in the World

What is knowledge?
Knowledge refers to awareness of or familiarity with various objects, events, ideas, or ways of
doing things.
One of the oldest and most venerable traditions in the philosophy of knowledge characterizes
knowledge as “justified true belief”. Although not all philosophers agree that “justified true
belief” does in fact adequately characterize the nature of knowledge, it remains the most
dominant conception of knowledge. Thus, for many, knowledge consists of three elements:
1) a human belief or mental representation about a state of affairs
2) accurately corresponds to the actual state of affairs
3) the representation is legitimized by logical and empirical factors.
Key points about Knowledge:
Precise Behavior is from from Imprecise Knowledge
 Knowledge is both in the head and in the world.
 Great precision is not required.
 Natural constraints exist in the world.
Memory Is Knowledge in the Head having the structure of memory. Human memory is not like
computer memory - it is efficient at remembering some things and inefficient at remembering
others, and it tends to decay over time. Designers should seek to have a working familiarity with
human memory, as it is important to performing tasks.
 Short-term memory- One significant distinction is in short-term versus long-term
memory: people remember small amounts of information for a brief period of time with
little effort.

 Long-term memory- Long-term memory stores information from the past. It's generally
believed that it takes more effort to get something stored in long-term memory (repetition
or strong emotional impact) and it takes a bit longer to retrieve information stored in
long-term memory. It's also noted that long-term memories tend to be amalgamated:
when we remember something we have done several times, the memory is not of seven
distinct incidents, but a blend of them, and possibly with some fabricated details tossed in
to fill in the gaps.

The Tradeoff Between Knowledge in the World and in the Head

 Knowledge in the world acts as its own reminder. It can help us recover structures that
we otherwise would forget.
 Knowledge in the head is efficient: no search and interpretation of the environment is
Everyday life depends on both mental models and observations of present reality -
though it is generally some combination of the two with which we approach each task.
The author considers that there are trade-offs between the two.
World-knowledge needs no mental ability - we do not need to remember things, or even
understand them particularly well, to fumble about with the things before us and try to
figure out how to get what we work. It's error-prone and time-consuming, the outcome is
compromised, and we gain nothing from the experience.
Head-knowledge is based on assumptions that things work a certain way, if only that
things will be the same this time as they were last time, and may cause us to confidently
do the wrong thing if we are not observant of differences in the present situation.