I had the nice opportunity to meet Professor Donald Norman in Modena (Italy) at UNIMORE (UNIversity of MOdena and REggio Emilia) during an interesting workshop in November 2019.
I am a cognitive erogonomist and usability engineer, member of SIE (Italian Ergonomics Society).
Professor Norman is widely regarded for his expertise in the fields of design, usability and cognitive psychology. He is best known worldwide for his books on design, especiallly "the design of everyday things".
I found astonishing similarities between the cover of Don Norman's bestseller “The design of everyday things” (“Coffee Pot for Masochists” in the Italian editon) and a funny Disney Comic story published in Italy.
On the cover of Don Norman's book there's a somehow “dangerous” coffee pot that seems designed to be harmful for its user, just like in the Disney Comic story “Paperino e il bricco briccone” (literally “Donald Duck and the tricky coffee pot” ). In the Disney story poor Donald is having trouble with a poorly designed and unnecessarily complicated “multi purpose” coffee pot.
The content and the “message” of the Disney comic story is perfectly in tune with the purpose of Don Norman's book, higlighting the consequences of poorly designed objects with no consideration of user characterics and limitations.
In the story Donald
Duck is somehow frustrated reading a “user manual” which appears
to be misleading and useless, full of gergal and technical terms.
As far as I know the story was never translated into English and published in the United States; it was a masterpiece of well-talented Italian Disney writers and illustrators.
I’m using this “methaphor” in explaining ergonomics to a larger audience, with the aim of raising awareness among kids and introduce them to the basic concepts of user centered design and usability .
Erberto Sandon, Ergonomo Europeo Certificato - StudioSandon - SIE, Società italiana di Ergonomia, sezione Emilia Romagna