Donald Norman

Critic; Writer; Lecturer / Product Design / United States / Nielsen Norman Group

Donald Norman’s Book List

Whenever I put together a list of recommended books, I invariably fall prey to the problem described by Barry Schwartz in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less—I include too many books, providing too many choices. Here is a simplified list of titles focusing on interaction and experience design, with apologies to my many friends whose important and useful works I still value but in the interest of less is more had to be trimmed.

7 books

Modern designers like to characterize their work as providing deep insight into the fundamentals of problems, going far beyond the popular conception of design as making things pretty. Designers emphasize this aspect of their profession by discussing the special way in which they approach problems, a method they have characterized as “Design Thinking.” This book is a good introduction to that concept. Brown is CEO of IDEO and Katz an IDEO Fellow.

Bill Moggridge

Moggridge was extremely influential in establishing interaction within the design community. He played a major role in the design of the first portable computer. He was one of the three founders of IDEO, one of the world’s most influential design firms. He wrote two books of interviews with key people in the early development of the discipline—this one and Designing Media. As is typical of work from the discipline of design, his works focus almost entirely upon the practice of design, with little attention to the science. The focus on the history of design, as practiced through interviews with the practitioners, is what makes this book, and its companion, so valuable.

Hugh Beyer
Karen Holtzblatt

The work of Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt presents a powerful method of analyzing behavior. A workbook (by (Holtzblatt, Wendell, & Wood) was added in 2004.

Jan Chipchase
With Simon Steinhardt

An excellent introduction to design research. The book chronicles the life of a design researcher who studies people by observing them in their homes, barbershops, and living quarters around the world. Chipchase is Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at frog design, working out of the Shanghai office. Steinhardt is Associate Creative Director of Editorial at the digital agency JESS3.

Bernhard E. Bürdek

An excellent, extremely comprehensive history of the field of product design. Originally published in German but with an excellent English translation, this is the most comprehensive history of product design I have been able to find. I highly recommend it to those who want to understand the historical foundations of the discipline.

Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar's book 101 Design Methods an excellent compendium and structured guide to the use of the many methods of design research.

Bill Moggridge
Interviews with Alice Rawsthorn et al.

See my comment on Designing Interactions.

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