The Design of Everyday Things (Chapter 4 (Utilizing knowledge of the world…
The Design of Everyday Things
Utilizing knowledge of the world
Possible operations can be hindered because of physical constraints.
Are more "effective and useful if they are easy to see and interpret" (Norman, 2013, pp. 125).
Each culture has own rules for situations. Depending on the situation, a person's actions are determined based on their culture.
Potential for change over time
Rely "upon the meaning of the situation to control the set of possible actions" (Norman, 2013, pp. 129).
How much we know about a situation and how much we know of the world determines how we respond.
Only possible thing to do - no other response can be given.
What is normal? What is conventional? What is considered a standard?
Every culture has its own standards and norms. These "rules" are constraints, in that a person within that group must follow what is laid out.
Some constraints force a "desired" means
Forced functions - form of physical constraints - forces an action to take place by only allowing one response to take place (Norman, 2013, pp. 141).
Downloads on a computer are an example - only two options (download or no) - without the download, a user may not be able to conduct certain tasks, making the download required.
Sound can be used as a signifier - sound can inform a person of something they can't see (a ping sound from a computer when there's a required window up they can't click out of).
Human Error VS. Bad Design
Are things caused by human error? Or are things cause by poor design?
Physical limitations are anticipated - mental limitations vary from user to user.
If an error occurs, instead of expecting it to happen again, the design needs to be reworked to make sure it won't happen again (Norman, 2013, pp. 164).
These "whys" help better understand WHY something happened. Not necessary to ask all five, but the five help offer more information regarding WHY something took place.
Not guaranteed to provide information - the word WHY is "ambiguous and can lead to different answers by different investigators" (Norman, 2013, pp. 166).
Natural to place the blame on someone when something goes wrong - instead, the focus needs to be put on making sure an issue doesn't and can't occur again.
Violations sometimes occur on purpose - users may potentially conduct violations for positive or negative reasons (both have responses).
Actual human error
Sometimes humans are at fault and it's not bad design - some constraints on humans cause human error
Slips VS Mistakes
Slips - A person means one thing, but accidentally does another.
Mistake - Takes place when original goal or plan is wrong.
Errors are not always harmful - if detected early, they can be dealt with early.
Addressing error can help to design for potential errors - focusing on potential error can better help designers plan for future errors.
Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group.