The Design of Future things could have been a much better book, but it has its value.
Norman has a distinguished career as engineer, cognitive scientist and champion for good design before it was fashionable. The book's weakness is its trade book focus on the general reader. It needs to be more engaging and expand beyond a focus on automobile and home automation R&D laboratories.
Its value are proposed principles for human-intelligent machine interaction: provide rich natural and continuous signals; be predictable; provide a good conceptual model; understandable output; and exploit natural mappings. Given the immaturity of the field, these are a very rough starting point. They will be replaced or evolved as broad real experience with intelligent machines evolves.
More important are the recommended readings: suggestions on important technical books and researchers on intelligent machine topics.
Norman's trade book philosophy omits conventional footnotes, though a page linked notes section allows limited references for the reader to go deeper.
A book copyright 2007 would have been written in 2006-6, but missing completely are developments in mobile, gaming, simulation, search, language translation, health care; and the potential of network-backed intelligence in the cloud. Discussion of intelligent social network interaction systems, or social network driven intelligence are absent. Norman also omits the impact of generational adoption and the signaling theory value of technology adoption by individuals.
The book could have omitted science fiction-style dialogs between fictional humans and Norman's fictional future machines. A better approach would have been to critique the interactions in popular film, with online film clip references. A more important focus could have been lessons from the evolution of artificial intelligence research and its disappointments; and ethnographic studies of current early intelligent systems, across cultures. We are sure to see unexpected variety in design theory across developers and academics in diverse world cultures.
Nonetheless, we look forward to the author's next significant book.