I was dusting my bookshelves last weekend – which some could argue must only be a yearly event for me – and found myself waxing nostalgic over Donald Norman’s “The Invisible Computer“. Written in 1998, I thought it might be interesting to re-read what he thought the personal computer needed and whether his wishes/predictions have come true 12 years later.

I studied under Dr. Norman for my Cognitive Science degree at UCSD. His POET (Psychology of Everyday Things) manuscript was the text for his Human Factors classes, which later became the book “The Design of Everyday Things“. “The Invisible Computer” is his followup which bypassed the analysis of door handles and cooktops and instead focused on the need for “information appliances” in this high-tech age.

(continue reading…)