Turn Signals Are The Facial Expressions Of Automobiles

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9780201581249: Turn Signals Are The Facial Expressions Of Automobiles

The "Gadget Guru" (L.A. Times) explores our place in a world of disk drives, switches, and plugs. Donald Norman delves into the "perversity of inanimate objects" as he takes a freewheeling look at the interface between humans and machines, as well as such vexing concepts as "real time" and the length of "noon".

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About the Author:

Donald A. Norman is Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, a former Apple Fellow,” and a partner in the Nielsen Norman Group Consulting Firm, which consults with corporations on design. He is the author of a number of books on design, including Emotional Design and the best-selling The Design of Everyday Things. He lives in Northbrook, Illinois and Palo Alto, California.

From Kirkus Reviews:

It's coping with the technology of quotidian life that wears us down, of course. Norman (Cognitive Psychology/UC San Diego) reassures us that it's not our fault: It's design flaws. If it's broke, Norman knows how to fix it. (The original title of his The Psychology of Everyday Things, 1988, didn't quite work, so subsequent editions substituted ``Design'' for ``Psychology''). Cognitive science--the study of the way stuff gets known--naturally covers a lot of things, and here some are discussed more cogently than others. On learning that the odds are 50,000 to 1 against getting stuck in an elevator, Norman panics. Doing the math, he figures he will get stuck two or three times in his lifetime. On the other hand, he offers a study, actually going to the heart of scientific method, on the thickness of book jackets; a consideration of the meanings of ``real time'' and ``brain power''; an entertaining complaint against Mother Nature for egregious soil erosion; a survey on the uses of the refrigerator door as a communication center; and much intelligence on the real causes of ``pilot error.'' To err may be human, but it may also be the result of bad design. Norman argues for logical relations between a stove's knobs and its burners (``affordance mapping'') and for the efforts a writer owes to readers. The book's technical jargon is minimal and its author writes with the apparent ease of an Asimov. An engaging work by a benign technocrat who has designs on our minds. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Donald A. Norman
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