The Psychology of Things

Donald Norman, psychologist and EE major and author of The Design of Everyday Things, gives an interview to Ambidextrous magazine on personality, design, and technology. A snippet:

I think physicality offers a tremendous amount to us. I think what happened during the computer revolution – and this was true of the design world as well – is that people got carried away by virtuality. People were thinking that a computer could do everything we want it to; that a screen could display everything we need; that we wouldn’t need physical knobs and sliders and buttons anymore – we would just draw them on the screen and people would touch them. But it’s not the same thing. You cannot touch these without looking. You miss all the powerful haptic and proprioceptive cues. That direction of design was a serious mistake.