Turn Signals Are The Facial Expressions Of Automobiles

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9780201622362: Turn Signals Are The Facial Expressions Of Automobiles

From water faucets and airplane cockpits to the concept of ”real time” and the future of memory, this wide-ranging tour through technology provides a new understanding of how the gadgets that surround us affect our lives. Donald Norman explores the plight of humans living in a world ruled by a technology that seems to exist for its own sake, oblivious to the needs of the people who create it. Turn Signals is an intelligent, whimsical, curmudgeonly look at our love/hate relationship with machines, as well as a persuasive call for the humanization of modern design.

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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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