450 Serra Mall, BLDG. 380
Stanford, California 94305

Cautious Cars & Cantankerous Kitchens: Apply Cognitive Science to Everyday Life

Donald Norman
Nielsen Norman Group
Northwestern University


Cautious cars? We already have them. Cantankerous kitchens? Not yet, but they are coming. Our products are getting more intelligent and more demanding. Not only do they tell us what routes to take when we drive, but also how to drive. In fact, if they don’t like our driving, they are starting to take control. When one model of the Lexus senses a potential collision, it looks at the driver through its TV camera on the steering column and, if the driver is not paying attention to the road, it brakes.

The future is one of increasing encroachment of automation into our lives, especially in the home and automobile. But the machines are not intelligent; the intelligence is in the minds of the designers, people who are not present when the unexpected happens. There is a way to build systems so as to maximize utility and pleasure while minimizing the dangers and frustrations.

In this talk I will explore how principles from Cognitive Science can be used to make devices that fit better into our lives.
Don Norman is cofounder of the Nielsen Norman Group, Professor at Northwestern University, and former VP of Apple Computer. He was the founding chair of the department of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, a founder of the Cognitive Science society, where he served as Chair and editor of its journal. He serves on many advisory boards, including Chicago’s Institute of Design, Encyclopedia Britannica, and the department of industrial engineering in Korea’s KAIST. In 2006 he was awarded the Benjamin Franklin medal in Computer and Cognitive Science. He has honorary degrees from the University of Padova (Italy) and the Technical University Delft (the Netherlands) and is the author of “The Design of Everyday Things” and “Emotional Design.” His newest book, “The Design of Future Things,” discusses the role that automation will play in such everyday places as the home, and automobile. He lives at www.jnd.org, which is located in Palo Alto half the year, Evanston IL the other half.

Added by bradlauster on January 14, 2007