Everything is Designed


This book is known as the Bible of design principles.

If you don\’t have any formal design or design thinking experience, this book could radically change how you interact with and view the world.Looking at any summary or notes does not do the book justice as it is filled with useful images and diagrams to explain the concepts. But here are my \”paraphrase and quote\” notes anyway to encourage you to read it.

Good design is harder to notice than bad design. Good design is invisible, it serves us without drawing attention to itself.Two important characteristics of good design

      • discoverability: is it possible to discover what actions are possible and where and how to perform them?
      • understanding: what does it mean? How is it supposed to be used?

Types of Design

      • Industrial design: the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer
      • Interaction design: the focus is upon how people interact with technology. The goal is to enhance people\’s understanding of what can be done, what is happening, and what has just occurred. Interaction design draws upon principles of psychology, design, art, and emotion to ensure a positive, enjoyable experience
      • Experience design: The practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments with a focus placed on the quality and the enjoyment of the total experience.

You have to design for people as they are, not how you want them to beHuman Centered Design: the process that ensures that designs match the needs, capabilities, and behavior of the people for whom they are intended.Some cool design terms

      • Affordance: the relationship between the properties of an object and the capabilities of the agent, determining what actions are possible
      • Signifier: places on an object that communicate where the action should take place
      • Examples: A chair affords sitting. The part of a chair most parallel to the floor is a signifier that it should be used for sitting.
      • Feedback: communicating that an action occurred, must be immediate

Cognition and emotion cannot be separated. Cognitive thoughts lead to emotions: emotions drive cognitive thoughts. The brain is structured to act upon the world, and every action carries with it expectations, and these expectations drive emotions.Three Levels of Processing that Approximate Human Behavior

      • Visceral(id or lizard brain): basic protective mechanism, making quick judgments about the environment
      • Behavioral(ego or monkey brain): home of learned skills, triggered by situations that match the appropriate patterns
      • Reflective(super ego or human brain): conscious cognition, where reasoning, decision-making and deep understanding take place
      • All three levels work together and determine whether or not a person likes the designed product or service
      • Designers must consider all processing levels but reflective level maybe the most important as memories last longer than the immediate experience during the period of usage.
      • Reflection drives us to recommend design or not

Constraints are powerful clues in design help people determine what to do4 Kinds of Constraints

      • Physical: physical limitations that constrain possible operations
      • Cultural: exist in a person\’s head and governs their behavior
      • Semantic: constraints that rely upon the meaning of the situation to control the possible set of actions
      • Logical: the relationship between the spatial or functional layout of components and the things they affect or are affected by

Design Thinking

      • The secret to success in design thinking is to understand what the real problem is.
      • Iterative process involving
          • Observation: seeing what people that will use the product or service really need, getting to the root problem
          • Idea generation:  coming up with as many ideas as possible without being judgmental, questioning everything(Five whys)
          • Prototyping: quick mock-ups of the potential solution
          • Testing: testing prototypes with people

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