I have two rules; avoid abridgements and watch out for older texts on contemporary topics. The Design of Everyday Things was produced several years ago and it shows. While it is just filled with worthy insight, much of the material is dated.
The original title for this book was "The Psychology of Everyday Things" and it has not been updated since 1988. It contains mostly pop psychology insights from the '80s rather than design ideas, so if you are looking for information on the actual design process you will be disappointed.
Many of the psychological insights have been refined and unpdated in the two decades since publication and what must have been insightful and modern at the time now seems obvious or too simplistic.
The performance is terrible. The narrator has a Shatner-esque delivery where he randomly speeds up and slows down his reading and then dramatically drops his volume at the end of sentances. I honestly thought there was a problem with my stereo before I figured out he was doing it on purpose.
The author mentions in his new preface that the ideas in the book are timeless and therefore he didn't think it needed updating. However, a significant amount of speculation is done by the author about what computers in the future will be capable of--all of which has already come to pass. There is simply no need for an entire chapter fantasizing about a future where you can have an electronic appointment book.
Apparently, the book is considered a classic in the design and engineering world, but until it is updated it only has value as a historic document.
Simplicity isn’t just a design principle at Apple - it’s a value that permeates every level of the organization. The obsession with Simplicity is what separates Apple from other technology companies. It’s what helped Apple recover from near death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on Earth in 2011. Thanks to Steve Jobs’s uncompromising ways, you can see Simplicity in everything Apple does: the way it’s structured, the way it innovates, and the way it speaks to its customers.
In 2013, Norman released an updated version of , called The Design of Everyday Things – Revised and Expanded Edition. Here’s what he changed, and why it’s important.
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