Turn Signals are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles, Donald A. Norman

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Turn Signals are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles, Donald A. Norman

I liked The Psychology of Everyday Things so much that I picked this latest volume of Norman’s up when I saw it in the store. Unlike POET, which was one long thesis on psychology and design, Turn Signals… is a collection of essays on those topics. As such, it lacks the coherence of POET, but gains emphasis by focusing on specific topics covered only slightly in POET. First off, Norman relates how the title for POET has been changed to The Design of Everyday Things, because of a misconception in what the book was about and who the book was for, exactly the kind of common mistake that he was attempting to expose in the book. Then he moves on to topics like the design of airplane cockpits, the use of book jackets in libraries, using the refrigerator door as a message center, the electronic personal assistant, as well as the title essay on clues that we receive from other people versus clues we receive from machines. I like Norman, and his topic, and will be on the lookout for his other book, Things that Make Us Smart.

[Finished 21 July 1993]

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