(EN: The distinction seems a bit dodgy to me. but there are also instances in which a machine can be designed to remind a person of something they neglected to do (the chime that sounds if a car is starting and the seat belt is not fastened) or to avoid common lapses (an ATM that allows the user to swipe his card rather than insert it). Common examples would include stepping on the gas when the car is in reverse rather than drive, attempting to use a "universal remote" to turn on the television and turning on the stereo, trying to pop corn in a microwave that's set on "thaw," and the like. “Key Takeaways from The Design of Everyday Things : Chapter 3” is published by Sherry Lin. In other instances, rules are ignored when the user perceives there to be a special situation. The author offers up the example of the F-22, a fighter aircraft that had been involved in a number of crashes. In certain situations, such as a speed limit for a curve, they may recognize that the engineer is making a suggestion for the sake of safety, but believe that they or their vehicle is capable of safely making the curve at a faster speed. Their job is to fix the problems of the world and many feel that they can do no wrong. The author mentions the attitude called "jidoka" promoted within the Toyota Motor Corporation, which encourages workers to pull a cord to stop the assembly line when they notice something is wrong. The author speaks of disaster planning, which simulates and emergency situation to test that people remember to follow emergency procedures. The Design of Everyday Things (216) Design, therefore, takes on political significance. Testing alertness is even more difficult, particularly because people in a "test" situation that lasts a few hours at most, during which they are aware that they are being observed at all times, are generally isolated in a lab environment, etc. Consider working on a computer and closing a window without saving first - all work done is lost. From an engineering perspective, it seems very simple and elegant to create a control panel with a dial and a button (set the dial to a number and then press a single button) rather than a panel with ten different buttons, and it certainly saves on the cost of the hardware and wiring. (EN: Particularly in digital systems, "undo" should always be possible. The user's natural habitat - which is to say, in situations where a device is going to be used - is not a quiet testing lab in which there are no distractions and no stress. People also tend to want to discover innovative ways to do things - finding new or more efficient ways to use a device by ignoring the intentions of the designer. Preface. Another reason for unreported errors is that people don't understand how things work. Divers are supposed to drop their weights before they emerge from the water, but many do not because the weights are costly to replace. This kind of behavior tends to be slow and methodical, with a great deal of conscious thinking and contemplation. Various attempts by designers to overcome the inherent problems of modes have not been successful in making a bad idea work. (EN: It's become even more obvious to me when testing cell phone applications. The Design of Everyday Things PDF Summary by Donald A. Norman is a book that explains the bad design, studies the cognitive psychology that fuels good design, as well as what a kind of constraints can be imposed to a product, to reduce … Simplify the task. This presumes that the design was correct, and that conditions will not change. The notion that there is only one possible cause of an accident (or the tendency to stop investigating when one cause is found) gives rise to erroneous thinking ... "if only" one thing had happened differently, the accident would not have occurred. I just finished reading the design of everyday things and there were so many important lessons from the book that I had to write a summary and record what I learned. You must plan for contingencies. However, much of the conversation is nonverbal. (EN: While this is a fact, I would dispute that the designer should, or even can, develop a device to accommodate this - as it's likely not possible to predict the unusual ways in which someone might try to hack a device.). Another drawback to automation is that people place such faith in its perfection that there are often no plans for what to do in the case of failure. You must decide when the user's attention should be called (and not too often), create a stimulus that is adequately intense to attract attention (but not too intense), enable the user to recognize what has gone wrong, and inform the user of what must be done to continue. Access a free summary of The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman and 20,000 other business, leadership and nonfiction books on getAbstract. Users may work around these limitations, but this gives rise to memory-lapse errors. In some instances, resiliency requires the product to be altered - a roof is built to withstand hurricane winds up to a certain force and has that property even when there is not a storm. It is presumed that the user is a person of little experience or intelligence and must be told what to do - and that the individual or group that defines rules is capable of clearly communicating the correct action in a given situation. A "sensibility check" is a confirmation that is based on conditions: when something seems a bit unusual, the system raises a concern and requires the user to confirm. In attempting to classify things that can validly be ascribed to human error, the author found there to be two categories that cover the vast majority: slips and mistakes. It means something bad is about to happen - but gives no indication of what it is or what the user might do to avoid it. Consider that near many sinks, the light switch and garbage disposal switch look the same and are placed side-by-side - resulting in disaster when someone wants to switch on the light to better see something that accidentally slipped into the drain. Consider the logistics industry and truck drivers in particular. Terms in this set (105) Moore's law. For example, it would be an easy matter for automobile manufacturers to provide a row of ports to add fluids (brake fluid, washer fluid, radiator coolant, transmission oil, etc.) The author mentions a former student who had the problem of accidentally tossing his clothing into the toilet because his laundry basket was round and white. Norman, D. A. He mentions an instance in which mode-error slippage became deadly: one of the models of Airbus airplane had an instrument that assisted pilots in landing the plane (or in this instance, assisted them in crashing it) - a single display enabled the operator to enter the degree of descent or the decrease in speed, in two different modes. In general, a device with "modes" is unnecessarily difficult to use and increases the number of errors. Consider the case of speeding: people will drive faster than the posted limit when they do not believe that the limit is reasonable. The author speaks a bit wistfully of artificial intelligence and expert systems - as it has long been a goal to provide assistance to novices (or more aptly, to take away the task of thinking of a solution from them), but there are no particularly good examples of how this has actually been accomplished for complex tasks. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. We expect too much of them (intense concentration and alertness over long periods of times) or make mistakes about their environment (that it will be as quiet and serene as a testing lab). People generally follow patterns of behavior that have worked for them in the past - while this is not a documented procedure, their adherence makes it a self-imposed one. The GPS system, stereo, climate control, or any other feature cannot be designed to distract the driver from driving.). Our first assumption is that the user will do everything correctly and get the outcome he intended. Knowledge-based behavior takes place in novel situations, when an individual must discover a solution to a problem he has never before encountered by applying his knowledge of similar situations and general principles of action. It is much more difficult to assess mental capacities in a way that is convincing: you can conduct usability tests that show people are unable to figure out which switch operates which system, but observers can simply suggest that the people testing the device are simply too stupid to recognize out what is obvious to them. ), (EN: It's for the same reason many people will switch off the radio when driving in dangerous conditions - to prevent being distracted.). He specifically mentions news reports and speeches - journalists, politicians, and executives make hasty analyses and make definitive statements based on very little evidence and superficial analysis. This does not match the situation of a worker who will perform the task unsupervised, during a shift lasting 8 or 12 hours, while being distracted by other tasks and things in his environment, and is under pressure to perform. The author refers to a psychological study (Fischoff) which contrasted two groups of participants: This is a natural response, as we count on experience of the past to guide us in predicting what we should expect of the future, but it has a number of drawbacks - chiefly, that we expect the future to be like the past, even if the past was abnormal. elementary … They attempt to figure things out, and will not look to the documentation until something has already gone wrong. Aside of the limitations of short-term memory, this is an unreasonable expectation because most interruptions are sudden and unexpected, and the user doesn't have time to make a mental note of their progress. Where a user acts quickly and without thought, he is generally applying skills or following rules ... and not really thinking about what he is doing. All that a flashing yellow light does is cause the user to experience anxiety and feel helpless. It's not at all a realistic test.). For example, if taking an inventory of items that are packaged in pairs (counting 2-4-6-8-10) and then switching to items packaged in sets of three (count 3-6-9-12-15) it would not be entirely unpredictable for a him to blend the two (3-6-8-10-12) and bungle the count. "I think the first button does what I want" is what the user "tells" the machine by pressing the button.). Rules are written by people who have knowledge, to convey it to those who do not.). But the author feels that this is terribly wrong. Confirming too often essentially undermines the value of a confirmation. This often leads to problems in troubleshooting, particularly when there is different ownership of the "slices." Human-centered design (HCD) It means starting with a good understanding of people and the needs that the design … the power of computer processors doubles roughly every 2 years. Vagueness is a particular problem for rules-based procedures. Each time you switch, you must remember where you were in the task you are returning to - and more, you have to keep the steps of the two tasks separated, so you don't perform a step in task A when you return to task B. People who own such watches either don't use all of those functions, or commit far too much information to long-term memory in order to learn how to use them. While machines and computers are very good at responding consistently to commands, they often require the human user to learn to speak their language or to perform an action that feels unnatural or awkward in order to get the device to do what was wanted. Test. In his opinion, the best design is to have multiple levels of undoing along with redoing so that the user can back up, one step at a time, as far as he wants, then go forward if he has gone too far back. For example, I have encountered similar glass swinging doors that Norman told about. Fortunately, automation is very poor at replacing knowledge workers for complex tasks, and is generally leveraged for doing menial work - in much the same way as "cruise control" in an automobile relieves the driver of a need to keep pressure on the gas pedal, but does not take over steering the car, and a human driver can easily disable it and take control. (EN: Hugo Munsterberg raised the very same point shortly after Taylor, but his work garnered little attention.). He does concede that both mistakes and slips of memory can be addressed by the same design "cures" - instructing the user (in advance or in the moment) or constraining his actions. This post contains what I felt are the most important takeaways from the book. HOME > STUDIES > READING NOTES > Design of Everyday Things > Chapter 3 3 - Knowledge in the Head and in the World The author opens with an anecdote about borrowing a car from a friend, who mentioned to him that he would have to shift the car into reverse gear in order to remove the key from the ignition. And in being so interested in the blame, we totally miss the real cause of the problem, and fail to find a real solution. The author reiterates some of what was said in the chapter: you must understand the capabilities and capacities of human beings and design in a way that accounts for them. There's a brief mention of "machine speech" in which the alerts are delivered in a simulated (or recorder) human voice. Summary… HOME > STUDIES > READING NOTES > Design of Everyday Things > Chapter 2. NOTE: Bewarned, these notes are un-edited, un-revised, and un-styled. A complex system such as an oil refinery, chemical plant, electric power grid, hospital, or nuclear power plant cannot be built merely to work under ideal conditions but must also continue to function under extreme situations, including disaster scenarios. He also notes that there is a sense of personal pride in professional work, and being made to conform to a checklist is seen as demeaning - that they are for "other people ... but not me." This flaw was picked up by digital clocks, which also show 12-hour cycles, with a small LED indicator to indicate that it is AM or PM (with some clocks, "on" means PM and "off" means AM, and with others it is the opposite). The machines go haywire and no-one knows what to do. The concept of "resilience engineering" involves designing to accommodate unusual circumstances. Buy from Amazon. Sherry Lin. He has to see several malfunctions before he will accept that there is something wrong with the equipment and what he witnessed was not merely a temporary glitch in the system. The fact that they were able to take a curve rated for 30 mph at 35 emboldens them to ignore warnings and try going even faster next time, as well as to ignore warning signs on other curves given that the posted warning was wrong. "I have three buttons. Why did the pilot fail to initiate the recovery procedure? It's likely useful to point out that "it is possible, but we don't want them to do it" to clarify requirements. But it is nonetheless an effective technique for getting to the root cause of a problem - in spite of the fact that it falters when there are multiple factors that contribute. Because it went into an uncontrolled dive. Knowledge-based decisions are those that must be made when there are neither skills nor rules to count upon. It's a psychological tendency for people to ignore mistakes when they see them - much as "selective hearing" causes a person to hear what they expect, so does "selective observation." This is particularly problematic for emergency procedures, as emergencies very seldom happen and, when they do, the rules have been forgotten. … The author suggests that a memory slip occurs in action, whereas a memory lapse occurs prior to taking action. When asked what went wrong, they are at a loss to describe exactly what went wrong. So they look to place the blame on someone else, or make someone else responsible for making sure it never happens again. The author tells an anecdote of a family trip in which they took a wrong turn and ended up on a highway that went to Las Vegas rather than to their destination. An interesting observation is that standard procedure is for the junior person to read the list while the senior person does the task - which is highly unusual and somewhat disrespectful for the person who feels his status is diminished by having a junior person check his work - but in practice this proves to be more effective. When tasks can be done in any order, or even at the same time, the checklist forces them into an unnecessary order. Did the user do something wrong or did the device misguide him? Organizations are just as bad as people in this regard: they fear litigation or a diminishment of their esteem if they admit to making an error. If we base our analysis on what happened in the past, we will give undue weight to improbable scenarios that rarely occur. Flashcards. When rules have been committed to memory, it becomes very difficult to change them: people will remember the old rule-set and the changes will not register in their memory. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints.
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