Donald Norman


This article talks about my Design inspiration: Donald Norman. Known as the ‘Father Of Design’, Don Norman is currently the co-founder and principal of the User Experience/Usability consulting firm, the Nielsen Norman group. He has worked as the VP in Apple and an executive in HP after completing his tenure at University of California, San Diego where he was the founder and chair of department of Cognitive Science. His proficiency in the field of design, usability and cognitive science is highly regarded.

Donald Norman- Father of Design

His major emphasis is design strategy: how designers and design thinking can help drive both incremental and radical innovation within the company. In his famous book, ‘The Design of Everyday Things’, Norman coined the word ‘User Centered Design’ and explained that when objects appear to malfunction and when the users blame themselves, it is the lack of intuitive guidance in the design of the object that causes the object to malfunction. Norman explains in the book using case studies what is bad design and what is good design and proposes design principles.

Listed below are the principles he stresses on while designing any user centered system:

  • Visible
  • Feedback
  • Constraints
  • Mapping
  • Affordance
  • Metaphors
  • Mental Models
  • Consistency

One of the famous quotes from his book says –

“Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.” 
 Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Thanks for stopping by and reading! 🙂


Don Norman: Designing for People

Wikipedia: Don Norman