At the Ref Desk (5/22/18): Got an IM request explaining in great detail (several sentences in fact) what kind of article the person was looking for. Only thing missing -- the topic. Oh well... [more...]

When Design Gurus Clash: Edward Tufte vs. Don Norman

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 7/11/11 (10:50pm)

I was going through an interesting article on (quantitative) design guru Edward Tufte when I came across this interesting spat between him and (simplicity) design guru, Don Norman that -- despite a cheap shot by Tufte -- seems to wonderfully address polar opposites:

Some designers have questioned whether Tufte's reverence for elegance and accuracy can verge on dogmatism, with too little consideration of context or audience. "The world is not filled with professional statisticians," said Donald Norman, the codirector of the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University and the author of The Design of Everyday Things. "Many of us would like a quick glance just to get a good idea of something. If a graph is made easier to understand by such irrelevancies as a pile of oil cans or cars, then I say all the better." (Tufte deflects this criticism by pointing out that Norman has been a paid consultant to Microsoft; Norman says his consulting work has nothing to do with his own thinking and writing.)

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