Don Norman on living with complexity

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January 18, 2011

Don Norman, a former Apple vice-president, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, and one of the world’s most influential designers, discusses his new book, Living With Complexity. Norman talks about differences between complexity, something being complicated, and simplicity, and suggests that people who bemoan “technology” don’t actually seek simplicity. He also discusses differences between designing a product and designing a system, using examples of iPods and iTunes, the Amazon Kindle, and BMW’s Mini Cooper — products whose success depended upon the success of larger systems. Norman also notes the difference between a forcing function and a nudge, explains how complicated rules can weaken security, and comments on sociable design in realspace and on the internet.

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