Design of Everyday Things

In this module, we’re going to look at one commonly used design for software: the Model-View-Controller, or MVC, Architecture. However, before we talk about designing software, let’s step back and talk about design in the real world.

The Design of Everyday Things

Think about the last time you went into a new building, spent a night in a hotel, or even just visited a bathroom in a trendy restaurant or museum. Did you have any trouble figuring out how to open the door, or where the light switches were, or how to operate the faucet? Most likely you didn’t even think about it or have any issues. If you did, your experience may have been affected by bad design.

In fact, there is even a special term for doors that are difficult to figure out how to operate: “Norman doors.” They are named after Donald Norman, who wrote a very influential book The Design of Everyday Things. Vox even created a video highlighting the problem, complete with an interview with Norman:

YouTube Video

After learning about this problem, we will probably all be a little more mindful about the design of objects in our world!