Reflection on The Design of Everyday Things
This reading packed a lot into it, and there were lots of things that stood out.
I found it really interesting how it overlapped with last week’s reading by fleshing out in lots of detail the ways in which computing has and continues to be shaped by a machine-first orientation. We’re trained to blame ourselves if we fail to use a tool correctly, rather than blaming the design. It’s so ingrained we don’t even give it much thought anymore, and the reading did a great job of bringing the concept back to the fore. He does a great job of advocating for a more human-centered orientation to design.
I’ve explored positive psychology as a thing to a great extent (I’ll bring a great book on it to class this next week!), but never thought about it in relation to design and technology. I’m a HUGE advocate of the sort of orientation shift the author talks about in transforming the concept failure into learning experiences. As designers and as humans, failure is part of the process and of life. It’s so easy to let failure break our morale and motivation to continue down a certain path, but by reconsidering the role failure plays in the larger picture, we can start to use it as fuel for the opposite.
I also really liked the example on page 43 of the drill and the hole. It’s a powerful metaphor to describe the complexity that needs to be navigated in the creation of successful design. People don’t need a drill, they need a hole. But what do they need the hole for? What do they need what they need the hole for? And so it goes back, with each iteration allowing the designer to better understand the problem and, from there, to design a better solution.
The technologies I used over the week, and descriptions of the mind and body contexts involved in their use.