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what’s wrong with your mouse?

Norman’s chapter of the psychopathology of everyday things was an amusing read, as I related to the many frustrated moments of using a particular device with minimal instruction or concept of how to use it. The reading prompted me to recall the time I was trying to show my dad something on my MAC a few years ago. As an avid collector and user of electronics, he was memorized over the clean lines and colour of my mac compared to his PC. After a few minutes of demonstrating how I use my computer, he mentioned that he too wanted a MAC, but I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as he tried to make sense of a computer that didn’t have the visible capability to ‘right click’. Once he figured out the mouse, he couldn’t understand why the screen suddenly zoomed out when the cursor hit the upper left hand corner. Afterwards, I wasn’t going to break the news to him that ‘control, alt, delete’ was an entirely different world on MAC.

Above is my Toshiba and my MAC. This is just one example of how I applied Norman’s principles of design for understandability.





Your story about your dad definitely resonated with me. My father is barely competent on his PC, so trying to use my Macbook was a tremendous challenge for him. I actually find I prefer my mac and whenever I use my friend’s PC laptop, I’m so used to the mac trackpad that I can’t function on anything different. It’s interesting that some people find Mac’s to be better design, but they can still present a functional challenge if you’ve only ever used something else.

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