Donald Arthur Don Norman's View on Human-Computer Interaction – Literature review Example

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The paper “ Donald Arthur Don Norman’ s View on   Human-Computer Interaction” is an impressive example of a literature review on information technology. Donald Arthur "Don" Norman is one of the renowned scholars in the field of Human-computer interaction, particularly the interaction of humans with the designed world. He is an intellectual in cognitive science, design, as well as usability engineering whose works have had a huge impact on the field of Human-computer interaction. This article features an extensive critical review of Prof. Donald Norman and his scholarly works altogether. The article features a brief autobiography of Donald Norman, a critical review of some of his outstanding topics in relation to the field of HCI and a review of sampled books from his wide range of publications. Author KeywordsHuman-Computer Interface, Designed World, Computer Systems Design, Affordance, Interaction, Interface, Interrelation, Usability, Functionality. INTRODUCTIONHuman-computer interaction (HCI) entails the study, design, planning, as well as uses of interactions between humans (users) and computers (11, 13).

It is one field that brings together computer science, design, behavioral sciences, and other scholarly fields. Among the key scholars and researchers that have played a major role in the development of HCI is Donald Arthur "Don" Norman.

Don Norman is an exceptional scholar who studies the interaction of real people with design (9). He explores the gap between what designers propose, plans, or intends with what regular persons actually want. The works of Don Norman have resulted in a wide range of classic publications like the book by the title, ‘ The Design of Everyday Things’ . This article is based on a critical review of Prof. Donald Norman and his scholarly works. A Brief Overview of Рrоf.

Donald Norman’ s Life and His WorksBorn on 25th December 1935, Don Norman attained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science or EECS in 1957 (14). He also earned a Masters in Science in EECS and a Mathematical Psychology Ph. D. Following his graduation, Don Norman also pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University’ s Center for Cognitive Studies. In this regard, Donald Arthur Norman is a scholar in cognitive science, design, as well as usability engineering (9). Don Norman can be best described as a modern life anthropologist, who studies the way human beings interact with their designed world.

Apart from a minor bad reputation about being a petulant critic, his works have also been described as being insightful and generous. Don Norman’ s mission is to ensure that the gap that stands between products/human creations and their users is closed (14). Norman is known to have authored a series of books and other publications on design and the manner, in which human beings interact or relate with it. A good example of well-known books that have been authored by Professor Donald Norman is the ‘ Design of Everyday Things’ , a classic book that has been a topic of discussion in the academic circles.

Other influential books under the authorship of Norman include ‘ Emotional Design’ and ‘ The Design of Future Things’ among others (14). According to (10), Don Norman is a voyeur, who is always on the lookout, always scrutinizing the ordinary daily occurrences that may be taken for granted by other human beings. Norman has been named by Business Week as being among ‘ the most influential designers in the world’ , based on the influence that comes from his essays, books, lectures, courses, consulting, and students (4).

This is an author that takes extraordinary pleasure in people’ s interaction with technology. According to his teaching, one is supposed to develop the observation skill, particularly that involving paying attention to the things that may seem obvious. Don Norman urges observers of the obvious to question it and this will result in them discovering a lot of hidden insights. As he notes, what may seem obvious in most of the cases is not (3).  


1. Kisačanin, B., Pavlović, V. & Huang, T. (2005). Real-time vision for human-computer interaction. New York: Springer Science.

2. Masoodian, M., Jones, S. & Rogers, B. (2004). Computer human interaction : 6th Asia Pacific conference, APCHI 2004, Rotorua, New Zealand, June 29-July 2, 2004: proceedings. Berlin-New York: Springer.

3. Norman, D. (2007). The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

4. Norman, D. A. (2007). The Design of Future Things. New York: Basic Books. (November, 2007.)

5. Rome, E., Hertzberg, J. & Dorffner, G. (2008). Towards affordance-based robot control international seminar, Dagstuhl Castle, Germany, June 5-9, 2006 : revised papers. Berlin New York: Springer.

6. Schmidt, A., Dey, A., Seder, T., Juhlin, O.,( 2009). Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, 2009.

7. Sears, A. & Jacko, J. (2008). The human-computer interaction handbook fundamentals, evolving technologies, and emerging applications. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

8. Belk, R.W. (1998). Possessions and the Extended Self. Journal of Consumer Research, 15, 139-68.

9. Norman, D. (2004). Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. New York, Basic Books.

10. Norman, D. A. (2010). Living with complexity. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

11. Monk, A. (1993). Improving your human-computer interface: A practical technique. Hemel Hempstead, Herts: Prentice-Hall International.

12. Norman, D. A. (2002). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

13. Guo, P. (2014). Clarifying Human-Computer Interaction. Communications Of The ACM, 57(2), 10-11.

14. Zachry, M. (2005). An Interview with Donald A. Norman. Technical Communication Quarterly, 14(4), 469-487.

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