Much of Norman's work involves the advocacy of user-centered design. His books all have the underlying purpose of furthering the field of design, from doors to computers. Norman has recently taken a controversial stance in saying that the design research community has had little impact in the innovation of products, and that whereas academics can help in refining existing products, it is technologists that accomplish the breakthroughs.
Norman is an active Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology where he spends two months a year teaching. He also holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego.
He is on numerous educational, private, and public sector advisory boards including the editorial board of Encyclopædia Britannica.