Design of Everyday Things - Book Club - PAR Springer-Miller Systems


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A memo to the CEO convincing why our company needed to read Design of Everyday Things. We chose it, and I led the discussion.

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Design of Everyday Things - Book Club - PAR Springer-Miller Systems

  1. 1. To: Larry Hall, President, PSMS Book Club From: John Scrugham, Valerie Vesnaver, Dominique Couture; PSMS Book Selection Committee Date: January 21, 2014 Subject: Q1 Book Selection for PSMS Book Club You asked us to choose the Q1 book for the PSMS Book Club, so we are writing to offer our suggestion. We have three over-arching criteria for the Q1 book. First, it successfully builds on the past Book Club books. That is, the book not only incorporates themes from previous books but also both digs deeper in to a particular theme and extends that theme to new areas. Second, the thesis of the book relates to at least one of PSMS’s core principles (“3Is’ or “5 Pillars”). Third, that the book minimizes “business-speak” so that the Club can appeal to a more diverse group of readers. Over the past two months, Val, Dom, and I have looked through over 50 business-related books as candidates for the final selection. On January 7th, we sat down together and each presented three books to the group (a total of nine books). We came out of the meeting with a book that we highly suggest for the PSMS Book Club to read; below is our suggestion: The Design of Everyday Things Author: Donald A. Norman, MIT graduate and Professor of Design and Usability Engineering at University of California, San Diego Length: 288 pages (with pictures and lists) Published: 1988 (current reviews note its continued relevance today, and Cornell Professor Jeff Hancock’s INFO2450: Communication and Technology class is structured around the book)  Summary: The Design of Everyday Things explores how you experience and interact with your physical surroundings and how the perversity of bad design affects you daily. This book is especially useful for those who “design anything for humans –from physical objects to computer programs.” Ultimately, it introduces readers to the underlying mechanisms of how and why some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.  Why we should read it: The user experience (one of the ATRIO’s 5 Pillars) can be a major competitive advantage for ATRIO and even our heritage products. But how do we continue to improve it? More importantly, for the non-coding and non-designing PSMS employees, how do we ensure that our product ultimately satisfies our customers? The Design of Everyday Things addresses these questions by showing fun and interesting examples of how we deal with the many things around us such as phones, computers, tea pots, and even door knobs. * * * Let us know if you have any further questions about our selection. While we are confident that The Design of Everyday Things will be a great addition to the PSMS Book Club reading list, we recognize that you may want to discuss other books, of which, we have plenty to bring forward!