Pioneering industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss believed that products should be fit to people, not the other way around. His 1955 book Designing for People explains his design philosophy to a general audience. Handles, controls, and other points of contact between people and machines should be obvious to use, not artfully hidden away. Below, hear Dreyfuss explain his belief in being obvious, a concept that is still observed by interaction designers today.

Story adapted from Henry Dreyfuss, Designing for People (1955). Voice actor: Sean Carusi

This story, along with other stories and objects by Henry Dreyfuss, appear in the exhibition Beautiful Users, 12 December 2014 – 26 April 2015.

Ellen Lupton is Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art.

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