Thursday, September 10, 2009

Personal Experience in Relation to Chapter 2 of DOET


Norman made a great amount of sense in his second chapter of "The Design of Everyday Things" He started off the chapter explaining how people wrongly blame themselves for errors that happen in everyday life based upon objects or interfaces they use. I too have made the same mistakes and automatically blamed myself, when really it is the designer that makes these mistakes more likely to happen. I completely agree with Norman when he states that psychology has a lot to do with society falsely blaming themselves for their errors.
Relating back to chapter 1 i can identify with the complicated phone systems. Over the summer i worked in an office where i was required to answer and transfer many calls a day. Everyone in the office had the same kind of phone except for the consul phone in the front. The basic phones that everyone had were a bit easier to transfer a call. You simply answered the phone, and once you knew who to transfer the call to you pushed the hold button, dialed in the extension that you wanted to transfer the call to, and just hung up, knowing the call was properly transferred.
The consul phone on the other hand was much more difficult. To transfer a call you had to put the person on hold, dial in the extension, wait for them to answer, then take the person off hold, hit the transfer button, dial in the extension again, wait for it to ring, then hit transfer again and finally hang up. This seemed so much more complicated than the other phones. I can't count the number of times i accidentally hung up on the caller while trying to transfer their call. This made me feel unaccomplished, as if i couldn't learn something as simple as transferring a phone call.
After reading Norman's statements i can realize that it was not my fault, but more so the person who designed the two separate phone systems. Norman made it clear that a designer should know how to minimize the chance for errors to be made. They should have people test their interfaces, acknowledge the errors that are made, and find ways to minimize the possibility of making errors.

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