Donald Norman – Essay Analysis

This post is a secondary post to this on that looks at the work a Donald Norman, who Is a advocate of user-centered design. Here I am looking at several articles that spoke to me from Donald’s essays.

The Paradox of Wearable Technologies

In The Paradox of Wearable Technologies Donald looks closely at wearable technology, most notably google glass. He gives attention to studies and observations of his own and shares that wearable technology could prove to be a catalyst to many issues. Most notably that people will give full attention to glass, even if they don’t have to; he gave evidence to this but pointing out things like the fact developers sprung for full e-mail when this was not initially planned or that we get distracted by simple things already.

My opinion on what he has to say in this article can be summed up in its last few words, “Can wearable devices be helpful? Absolutely. But they can also be horrid.” I think that wearable technology will come just like a new generation of smart phones, people in time will learn to properly use them. Im sure the guy that takes calls in movie theaters and in quiet rooms will be doing the same thing with glass… but thats more of a personal problem than a technical one.

Why We Fail (My Foreword)

Embrace failure, avoid failure

This singular statement embodies the topic and deliverable of the whole article. That failure is a valuable tool and should be used wisely. Donald goes further and applies this concept to UX design, he says that this is one of the best things to learn from. He believes stories of failure are fascinating to look at.

I personally could not agree any more with this, all of it. First off I have given a lot of thought toward failure and what you can take away from it. In paragliding we go a step further and takeaway from things that should have been failures, ie. “know when you got away with something”. This all of course applies to UX design, heck thats what the whole book “Rocket Surgery Made Easy” was about; testing and finding failures.



  1. Pingback: CGT 105 – Donald Norman | Hunter J Nelson

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