Norman Doors & The Impact Of Iterative Design

Sources / Additional Reading Vox + 99% Invisible - Norman Doors: It's not you. Bad doors are everywhere. Digital America - A Tale Of The Haves & Have Mores UK Getting rid of analog clocks Signal To Noise Ratio

Key Takeaways

  • BE FAMILIAR: Do what people expect. Don’t fight inherent beliefs.
  • ITERATION: Think of the process as constant improvement of an idea, not solely removal of bad ideas.
  • ASK WHY: When you hit a block ask why many times to figure out the root cause.
  • RESPECT DATA: Design is becoming a data-driven field. Embrace this, don’t fight it in favor of subjectivity.

Lecture Outline

  • Norman Doors
  • A door where the design tells you to do the opposite of what you’re actually supposed to do.
  • A door that gives the wrong signal and needs a sign to correct it.
  • This is an industrial design term that also applies heavily to interface design.
  • Design roles continue to evolve and shift as technology changes the design landscape
  • Iterative Improvement
  • Don’t think of designs as having an end, but just a point when you decide to stop.
  • Desire Paths are a Great Example of Data-Driven Design
  • Following where people actually go instead of trying to pave paths where you want them to go.
  • University of Toledo walkways
  • Descriptive vs. Prescriptive design
  • Descriptive: What DID happen, based on observations.
  • Prescriptive: What SHOULD happen, to achieve certain outcomes. (like Prescription medication. Take 2 a day to get better.)
  • Shifting your thinking from Descriptive to Prescriptive will help you explain designs, and rationalize decisions
  • The Illusion Of Completeness
  • Happens on digital designs when more is available off-screen that isn’t intuitively shown to be there.
  • The Progression Of Technology:
  • The progress of technology is outpacing our ability to adapt to it.
  • The job market is going to be disrupted a lot in the next decades. New markets. New skills needed.
  • Skeuomorphism:
  • A design concept of making items represented resemble their real-world counterparts.
  • An analog clock represented on a digital screen. Nothing about the screen requires that depiction anymore.
  • Yellow notepad with red lines on a digital device
  • We gravitate toward familiar things in a shifting landscape
  • No such thing as a digital native. Only people who have becomes used to a repeated behavior
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio:
  • Design is not decoration, it’s communication.
  • Descriptive design avoids noise