The Design of Everyday Things

Don Norman , 2002

(This page is about the original edition of The Design of Everyday Things. The book has now been published in a new, revised edition.)

Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault lies in product design that ignore the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. A bestseller in the United States, this bible on the cognitive aspects of design contains examples of both good and bad design and simple rules that designers can use to improve the usability of objects as diverse as cars, computers, doors, and telephones.


Spanish (Spain)
Chinese (Taiwan).
NOTE: UK edition is published by MIT Press.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2002 Edition


  1. The Psychopathology of Everyday Things
  2. The Psychology of Everyday Actions
  3. Knowledge in the Head and in the World
  4. Knowing What to Do
  5. To Err is Human
  6. The Design Challenge
  7. User-Centered Design


Suggested Readings



Note: Originally published in 1988 as The Psychology of Everyday Things (same book except for the preface, introduction, and title).

Watch Don Norman explain why he wrote the book and what he thinks about the way it has been received (2 min. video):

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