A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Human-centered design considered harmful

I’m not sure this is available to the general public, but Don Norman has an intriguing article Human-centered design considered harmful.

Human-centered design has become such a dominant theme in design that it is now accepted by interface and application designers automatically, without thought, let alone criticism. That’s a dangerous state—when things are treated as accepted wisdom. The purpose of this essay is to provoke thought, discussion, and reconsideration of some of the fundamental principles of human-centered design. These principles, I suggest, can be helpful, misleading, or wrong. At times, they might even be harmful. Activity-centered design might be superior.

One response to “Human-centered design considered harmful

  1. John Wiseman September 30, 2005 at 10:30 am

    It’s also available at his web site[1].

    Did you see his essay[2] on Google’s interface? It really surprised me–I thought it was an awful analysis.

    [1] http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/human-centered_desig.html
    [2] http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/the_truth_about_goog.html

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