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The Design of Future Things by Donald Norman

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CHAPTER SIX

Communicating withOur Machines

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The whistling of the kettle and the sizzling of food cooking on the stove are reminders of an older era when everything was visible, everything made sounds, which allowed us to create mental models, conceptual models, of their operations. These models provided us with clues to help us troubleshoot when things did not go as planned, to know what to expect next, and to allow us to experiment.

Mechanical devices tend to be self-explaining. Their moving parts are visible and can be watched or manipulated. They make natural sounds that help us understand what is happening, so that even when we are not watching ...

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