Human-centered design considered harmful
September 29, 2005
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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.