Donald A. Norman Quote

During an incident, there are never clear clues. Many things are happening at once: workload is high, emotions and stress levels are high. Many things that are happening will turn out to be irrelevant. Things that appear irrelevant will turn out to be critical. The accident investigators, working with hindsight, knowing what really happened, will focus on the relevant information and ignore the irrelevant. But at the time the events were happening, the operators did not have information that allowed them to distinguish one from the other.

Donald A. Norman

During an incident, there are never clear clues. Many things are happening at once: workload is high, emotions and stress levels are high. Many things that are happening will turn out to be irrelevant. Things that appear irrelevant will turn out to be critical. The accident investigators, working with hindsight, knowing what really happened, will focus on the relevant information and ignore the irrelevant. But at the time the events were happening, the operators did not have information that allowed them to distinguish one from the other.

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About Donald A. Norman

Donald Arthur Norman (born December 25, 1935) is an American researcher, professor, and author. Norman is the director of The Design Lab at University of California, San Diego. He is best known for his books on design, especially The Design of Everyday Things. He is widely regarded for his expertise in the fields of design, usability engineering, and cognitive science, and has shaped the development of the field of cognitive systems engineering. He is a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, along with Jakob Nielsen. He is also an IDEO fellow and a member of the Board of Trustees of IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. He also holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego. Norman is an active Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), where he spends two months a year teaching.Much of Norman's work involves the advocacy of user-centered design. His books all have the underlying purpose of furthering the field of design, from doors to computers. Norman has taken a controversial stance in saying that the design research community has had little impact in the innovation of products, and that while academics can help in refining existing products, it is technologists that accomplish the breakthroughs. To this end, Norman named his website with the initialism JND (just-noticeable difference) to signify his endeavors to make a difference.