Design Psychology

I finally got the books from the library.

Started with “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman.

Seemed like a good book to start with. Already a third of the way through and caught myself thinking: “What in the world am I reading? This isn’t about design!” Which is true, it’s not about design. It’s about psychology. (it was previously published as ‘The Psychology of Everyday Things’) But the reality is, design has everything to do with psychology.

As I said before, design is in the details.

Magsafe power charging ~ So your laptop doesn’t go flying across the room when you trip on the wire

Macbook’s open notch/handle ~ Because slide notch to open doesn’t make sense on a laptop

Macbook’s sleep light ~ Only shines when it’s sleeping, try finding it when it’s not

Details like these can only come from hours of using the device. They’re not examples of cutting-edge technology. They’re examples of human psychology. They’re the details that we don’t notice. But quietly appreciate. Because somehow, they should be there. It feels obvious and questioning them seems out of the ordinary.

They follow Dieter Rams’ principles for good design. They don’t detract from the experience by being there. But taking them away would.

Back to the book. I’m already a third of the way through and I found numerous examples of these details expressing their respect for human psychology.

Such as push and pull door handles.

The subtle cues let you know if you should push or pull and in which direction, left or right.

With good design, labels are not necessary. Don Norman even goes to say that if a label or sign is needed, try a different design.

Mental mapping and models are also recurrent topics that relate to psychology. Really glad I took that psychology class in High School.

More mapping. The controls for the car seats look exactly like the seats. Self explanatory. No labels necessary.

We gripe over bad design. But good design is overlooked. Never looking at well designed products the same way again. ~ Imtiaz Majeed


2 thoughts on “Design Psychology

  1. Awesome post. Made me realize how important design is. I’ll try to get this book, it sounds really interesting. I have studied Feng Shui design. I believe psychology + design= go hand in hand.

    Good stuff :-)

  2. Pingback: Skeuomorphism | ımtıaz maȷeed

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