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100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People [Paperback]

Susan Weinschenk
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 14 2011 0321767535 978-0321767530 1
We design to elicit responses from people. We want them to buy something, read more, or take action of some kind. Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient. This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs. With it you’ll be able to design more intuitive and engaging work for print, websites, applications, and products that matches the way people think, work, and play.

Learn to increase the effectiveness, conversion rates, and usability of your own design projects by finding the answers to questions such as:
  • What grabs and holds attention on a page or screen?
  • What makes memories stick?
  • What is more important, peripheral or central vision?
  • How can you predict the types of errors that people will make?
  • What is the limit to someone’s social circle?
  • How do you motivate people to continue on to (the next step?
  • What line length for text is best?
  • Are some fonts better than others?
These are just a few of the questions that the book answers in its deep-dive exploration of what makes people tick.

Frequently Bought Together

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People + Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) + Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
Price For All Three: CDN$ 78.99

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Product Description

About the Author

Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology, and a 30-year career in applying psychology to the design of technology. She has written several books on user-centered design. Her 2008 book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?, published by New Riders, applies the research on neuroscience to the design of web sites. A popular speaker and presenter, her nickname is "The Brain Lady". She is Chief of User Experience Strategy, Americas, at Human Factors International, and runs a popular blog: Whatmakesthemclick.net.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Nov. 21 2012
By Kat
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for anyone wanting to learn the psychology behind how people retain information and how to apply this to their designs. It's written in such a clear and concise manner that it is easy to read cover to cover in one shot (at least for me). It was so interesting I could hardly put it down! I would highly recommend it to anyone who is involved in design regardless if it is online or not. Fascinating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is not a usefull book for all kind of designers Sept. 27 2013
By Hani
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not bad so far, little basic and It is not a usefull book for all kind of designers ...Mostly useful for website designer..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read... great for a non-"book reader" Jan. 5 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I especially like that the chapters are short. They are snippets of facts expounded into 2 pages. This makes the book easy to read, taking it one chapter at a time. I started with one chapter per day until I couldn't put it down anymore.

The science around design are interesting, and while Weinschenk struck a pretty good balance between theories and practise, I would've loved to see more practical examples of the theories in a typical life scenario.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great information June 4 2014
By Tagra
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm really happy with this book. I like that she's using real research and providing a number of links to other resources to back up what she's saying. Because it's so nicely broken up into short chapters, it's also useful as a quick reference after you've finished looking through it.

The book is quite focused on web and interface design, and it would have been nice if the book indicated that more clearly, but I still feel the information within can be applied to most types of design. I'm still getting lots of good ideas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  107 reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise yet densely packed with UX goodness July 5 2011
By Tim - Published on Amazon.com
I have been waiting for a book like this for so many years now. I think with every profession there are certain ideas that are taken for granted and, over the decades, become "fact" for practitioners. But just because research showed something 40 years ago doesn't mean that study was well done, or correct, in the first place. The strength of this book is that the author cites more recent research about principles you either thought you knew, and were wrong, or that you thought you knew, and are still right. I feel a certain sense of liberation reading a book like this, because if you cannot challenge your closely held beliefs, what kind of professional are you?

The structure is terrifically usable: one hundred "chapters" that are often only 1 or 2 pages long. In a book like this, the references are as valuable as the author's own writing. I can look up the sources and make up my own mind if I have any questions. But most of the time, I appreciate the author's explanations of the book's segments:
* How people see
* How people read
* How people remember
* How people think
* How people focus their attention
* What motivates people
* People are social animals
* How people feel
* People make mistakes
* How people decide.

Amidst all the success of the book is some occasional lack of proofreading on the editor's part. This is not the author's fault, but I do think the editor was not up to the task. But that does not inhibit the usefulness of the book. It is dense, yet concise. A really good reference to keep on the shelf at one's desk, no matter what research and design projects one works on.
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immediately useful tips May 25 2011
By C. Jarrett - Published on Amazon.com
This appealing short book brings together little nuggets of psychology, which the author makes immediately relevant to design decisions.

It's simply and clearly written. You can choose whether to read it straight through, focus on just one of the 10 sections, or simply pick out a single item of the 100. Each one is:
- self-contained,
- described with an example,
- supported by appropriate research, and
- finishes with one or more 'Takeaways' that you can use immediately.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of scientific facts Dec 30 2011
By Joe I - Published on Amazon.com
The book, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk, is an interesting collection of facts and thoughts about how people perceive communications and the world around them. While applicable to graphic designers, much of the information in the book would be useful to anyone involved in communicating with people in any medium.

This book is easy to pick up and put down as each of the 100 things take up only two or three pages with easy to scan charts, illustrations and pull boxes.

Some of the facts are things many people already know, but some of them provide additional information to accompany common held rules. One example of this is thing number four which discusses how and why the brain recognizes faces. Using this information, graphic designers can make educated decisions on when and how to include human photography in design work in place of object or nature photography based on the reaction they hope to create.

User Interface designers should pay close attention to the following sections: How People See, How People Read and How People Focus Their Attention and How People Decide. The author looks at how people relate to information based on where it is placed on the page, the errors in relying on eye tracking studies, how font choices impact how people read, what draws people's attention, how long people really focus on different types of information, and what you can do to influence the decisions your viewers take.

Marketers of all types should pay close attention to things 33 and 34 which talk about how people process information when presented in a story format and how people learn from examples. These examples can be applied to a number of different formats such as crafting compelling stories to convince a customer they will benefit from your product or providing step by step relevant examples when designing training documents.

The section, What Motivates People, should be required reading for those designing materials with the goal of having people take action. This section compares how people make choices and why people search for information.

This is a great book to read while near your computer, as many sections refer to websites and YouTube videos containing additional information.

Overall this book didn't include any earth shattering information, but rather gives scientific facts and information to back up some of the commonly taught design principles and practices. This book could be helpful to anyone at any stage in their design or communications career. New students will benefit for having some of the data to back up some of what professors teach and experienced designers will re-learn some of the basics and keep them fresh in their mind while working on projects.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives a deeper understanding of what matters in design Aug. 29 2012
By Bernard Farrell - Published on Amazon.com
Don't go into this book expecting pictures of design patters that work and how different designs work in each situation. That's NOT what this book is all about.

Instead what you'll find here is focused information on how our brains work and how we can take advantage of these inner workings as we design. This is an easy to read book, it's not full of science and jargon. I've enjoyed every piece of learning and can see how it applies in my work and also in other aspects of my life - writing, drawing and presenting.

I recommend this book to anyone who needs insight into creating better designs and presentations.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not made for the kindle Oct. 31 2012
By tcarrier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
first - for a black and white kindle format, this kind of material just does not work. the layout does not allow for information and relevant graphics to fit in the same view, color is a necessity in design, and the type/layout of the book should not be customized to my preference when we are talking about design from a design source.

second - the content was rudimentary. if you are a designer, you already know this stuff. i was hoping the content would be a bit more about advanced thinking or considerations that are not widely used or adapted. new ideas about design that should be or will become basic design thinking. i am already aware of color blindness and peripheral vision, text size, etc.

if you want a basic review because you need to talk about it or if you want to remind yourself like a self-help book, then read it. but get it in paper format and not digital -- does not work well.
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