Weeks 13 and 14: The Design of Everyday Things 🚪


Welcome to Weeks 13 and 14
It’s time to read The Design of Everyday Things :door: by Donald A. Norman

Just 22 pages a day to finish it in 2 weeks.

:nerd_face: Patrick Whitney , Dean, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology says:

“This book changed the field of design. As the pace of technological change accelerates, the principles in this book are increasingly important. The new examples and ideas about design and product development make it essential reading.

pinned #2

made this a banner . It will appear at the top of every page until it is dismissed by the user. #3


At the 23% mark I got pissed that this was just a less deep version of Thinking Fast and Slow and I really got sick of reading about badly designed doors, so I switched to fast-reading mode. I’m at 59% now and so far the entire book can probably be summarized into those two or three charts that are presented early in the book (about the 7 steps or so involved when people want to achieve some goal). Haven’t been taking notes on this one, will dig out the relevant charts when I’m done.

If I ever need to design a door, a faucet or a nuclear power plant, I’ll happily read this book again.

EDIT: Aand done. To me, this book was a giant waste of time, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad book. Review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2759118868


finished the book finally.
hmm, what to say about this one…

'+ some insights about design and that even though design can change a lot, psychology of people will stay the same or at least take years to decades to adapt to new tech and stuff (instead for the cutting and bleeding edge people / early adopters)
'+ some nice graphics about the interaction of humans with stuff (goal,…)

'- overlapping information with “thinking fast and slow”, whereas Kahneman was just better in describing these psychological behaviours
'- the book just didn’t excite me, had a hard time to read it (even already hard for me as an Austrian guy, since I have to concentrate a lot more to read English books instead of German ones)
'- maybe my expectations were wrong about the content of this book - I expected clear advises how to design everyday stuff, how different materials and forms behave, how the lifecycle of the design really works from idea to product, which materials and production methods are suitable for what, how sustainable are these methods, how scalable, which colors have which effect,…
'- therefore it was a lot on the meta-level and not so much an actionable book
'- the examples were to “ancient” many times, I got it that he loves doors and refrigerators

If someone would ask me if I would recommend the book, I think I would recommend only to read a good summary of the book on the internet, but I wouldn’t recommend the whole 300pages.


Read the Blinkist version along reading the full one and I have to say the Blinkist one basically has already that’s necessary and nothing more.

It’s not a bad book per se. It’s simply that we have since grown accustomed to better ones.


I finished this book one week overdue, but I’m glad I did. There was some interesting insight into a world that I’m not familiar with. I have formerly worked at an oil refinery so I can confirm the accuracy of the way mistakes and errors happen there which was one of the reasons I don’t work there anymore.

The design of my home and surroundings is something that I have been trying to improve. This book gave me additional motivation and skills to continue working on that. I like to put a lot of things into the world because my memory is too unreliable and I need my mental capacity for more important things than remembering appointments and meetings.