Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles: Notes of a Technology Watcher

Donald A. Norman, Author
Donald A. Norman, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $21.9 (205p) ISBN 978-0-201-58124-9
Reviewed on: 06/01/1992
Release date: 06/01/1992
Paperback - 205 pages - 978-0-201-62236-2
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Mining the territory he explored in The Design of Everyday Things , Norman, in the first third of this entertaining and instructive volume, exposes clumsy design practices in water faucets, doors, stoves, kitchens and the U.S. Post Office's new stamp machine. The examples he cites are sometimes hilarious; for instance, an elevated monorail train in Australia requires a full-time attendant to prevent passengers from putting their tokens in the wrong slot. The rest of the book consists of engaging mini-essays on such topics as the use of refrigerator doors as message centers, the ``real time'' of computers versus psychological time, automotive signaling and cognitive aids in airplane cockpits. Norman likens design to an evolutionary process, but he maintains that most designers, unfortunately, are enamored of technology and lack empathy with the users of their devices. He serves up an eminently sensible smorgasbord of ideas, critiques and design insights. Illustrated. (June)
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