Summary of The First Secret of Design Is...Noticing

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Life’s small frustrations are often so commonplace that they barely scratch your awareness. Psychologists call this cognitive tendency “habituation.” Designer Tony Fadell encourages you to fight this inclination because it’s only when you view the world through fresh eyes that you see its flaws and spot opportunities for making it better. getAbstract recommends Fadell’s refreshing, humorous talk to designers, innovators and problem solvers.

About the Speaker

Designer Tony Fadell founded Nest, a firm that revamps the design of everyday objects.



Pieces of fruit didn’t always have stickers on them. But someone decided that placing a sticker on each item of fruit expedited the checkout process. So now you must peel the sticker from a fruit’s skin before you can eat it. This inconvenience is so routine that individuals now barely register it. The wiring of the human brain inoculates you against noticing and reacting to everyday nuisances. This process, called “habituation,” frees your brain to tackle new problems and process fresh information. For example, new drivers must dedicate their full attention to operating a car. After clocking many hours behind the wheel, driving becomes instinctive, requiring less brainpower...

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