Category Archives: Don Norman

Experience is more based upon memory than reality

“It’s the total experience that matters. And that starts from when you first hear about a product… experience is more based upon memory than reality. If your memory of the product is wonderful, you will excuse all sorts of incidental things.” - Don Norman

“It’s the total experience that matters. And that starts from when you first hear about a product… experience is more based upon memory than reality. If your memory of the product is wonderful, you will excuse all sorts of incidental things.” – Don Norman

Don’s quote is from an interview conducted at UX Week 2008. Read some other choice quotes from this interview here. This quote was submitted by Michael Cummings.

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We need to build products that bring joy and excitement to people’s lives

“It is not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and, yes, beauty to people’s lives.” - Don Norman

“It is not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and, yes, beauty to people’s lives.” – Don Norman

This quote is from Don’s article “Introduction to This Special Section on Beauty, Goodness, and Usability” from the publication “Human-Computer Interaction”

(EDIT: URL to the article has been updated.  Click on the “View Article” link on that page to view the PDF)

A successful company is one where everybody owns the same mission

“I think a successful company is one where everybody owns the same mission. Out of necessity, we divide ourselves up into discipline groups. But the goal when you are actually doing the work is to somehow forget what discipline group you are in and come together. So in that sense, nobody should own user experience; everybody should own it.” - Don Norman

“I think a successful company is one where everybody owns the same mission. Out of necessity, we divide ourselves up into discipline groups. But the goal when you are actually doing the work is to somehow forget what discipline group you are in and come together. So in that sense, nobody should own user experience; everybody should own it.” – Don Norman

Read more from an interview with Don Norman on where user experience should be positioned within a company in this article.

Design things that maintain the pleasure of accomplishment

“The argument is not between adding features and simplicity, between adding capability and usability. The real issue is about design: designing things that have the power required for the job while maintaining understandability, the feeling of control, and the pleasure of accomplishment.” – Don Norman

Read Don’s article “Simplicity is Not the Answer” for more thoughts on the importance of making understandable designs.

The goal of human-centered design is to tame complexity

The world is complex, and so too must be the activities that we perform. But that doesn’t mean that we must live in continual frustration. No. The whole point of human-centered design is to tame complexity, to turn what would appear to be a complicated tool into one that fits the task, that is understandable, usable, enjoyable. - Don Norman

“The world is complex, and so too must be the activities that we perform. But that doesn’t mean that we must live in continual frustration. No. The whole point of human-centered design is to tame complexity, to turn what would appear to be a complicated tool into one that fits the task, that is understandable, usable, enjoyable.” – Don Norman

Read Don’s article “Simplicity Is Not The Answer” for his thoughts on why simplicity should not necessarily be the primary goal when creating products and services.

Creating a successful product requires designing the Total User Experience

“Too many companies believe that all they must do is provide a ‘neat’ technology or some ‘cool’ product or, sometimes, just good, solid engineering. Nope. All of those are desirable (and solid engineering is a must), but there is much more to a successful product than that: understanding how the product is to be used, design, engineering, positioning, marketing, branding—all matter. It requires designing the Total User Experience.” - Don Norman

“Too many companies believe that all they must do is provide a ‘neat’ technology or some ‘cool’ product or, sometimes, just good, solid engineering. Nope. All of those are desirable (and solid engineering is a must), but there is much more to a successful product than that: understanding how the product is to be used, design, engineering, positioning, marketing, branding—all matter. It requires designing the Total User Experience.”- Don Norman

Quote from the article “Sharing Ownership of UX” from UXmatters.

If you’d like to read more by Don Norman, pick up his books for many insightful thoughts on design.