100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, 2nd Edition

Book description

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 this book you'll design more intuitive and engaging apps, software, websites and products that match the way people think, decide and behave.



Apply psychology and behavioral science to your designs.

Here are some of the questions this book will answer:

• What grabs and holds attention.

• What makes memories stick?

• What is more important, peripheral or central vision?

• Can you predict the types of errors people will make?

• What is the limit to someone's social circle?

• 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.

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. The Psychology of Design
  8. How People See
    1. 1. What you See isn’t what your Brain Gets
      1. The brain creates shortcuts
    2. 2. Peripheral Vision is used more than Central Vision to get the Gist of what you See
    3. 3. People Identify Objects by Recognizing Patterns
      1. The Geon Theory of Object Recognition
    4. 4. There’s a Special Part of the Brain Just for Recognizing Faces
    5. 5. There’s a Special Part of the Brain for Processing Simple Visual Features
      1. Well, Maybe not Just One at a Time
    6. 6. People Scan Screens Based on Past Experience and Expectations
      1. People have a Mental Model of what they want to See and where they want to See it
      2. If there is a Problem, People Narrow their View
    7. 7. People See Cues that Tell them what to do with an Object
      1. Perceived Affordances on Screens
      2. Hyperlinks are Losing their Affordance Cues Too
    8. 8. People can Miss Changes in their Visual Fields
    9. 9. People Believe that Things that are close Together Belong Together
    10. 10. Red and Blue Together are Hard on the Eyes
    11. 11. Nine Percent of Men and One‑Half Percent of Women are Color-Blind
    12. 12. Colors Mean Different Things to Different Cultures
  9. How People Read
    1. 13. It’s a Myth that Words in All Caps are Inherently Hard to Read
      1. Reading isn’t as Fluid as it Seems
      2. So is it Harder to Read Text that is in All Caps?
    2. 14. Reading and Comprehending are Two Different Things
      1. Readability Formulas
      2. Can you Read this Paragraph?
      3. Titles and Headlines are Critical
      4. What you Remember of what you Read Depends on your Point of View
    3. 15. Pattern Recognition Helps People Identify Letters in Different Fonts
      1. If a Font is Hard to Read, People Think the Task is Hard to do
    4. 16. Font Size Matters
    5. 17. Reading a Screen is Harder than Reading Paper
    6. 18. People Read Faster with a Longer Line Length, but they Prefer a Shorter Line Length
  10. How People Remember
    1. 19. Short-Term Memory is Limited
      1. Working Memory and Focused Attention
      2. Working Memory vs. Sensory Input
    2. 20. People Remember Only Four Items at Once
      1. Why it’s an Urban Legend
      2. Using Chunks to Turn Four into More
      3. The Four-Item Rule Applies to Memory Retrieval Too
    3. 21. People have to use Information to Make it Stick
      1. Repetition Physically Changes the Brain
      2. The Power of a Schema
      3. Experts Store Information as Schemata
    4. 22. It’s Easier to Recognize Information than Recall it
      1. Recognition is Easier than Recall
      2. Inclusion Errors
    5. 23. Memory Takes a Lot of Mental Resources
      1. Memory is Easily Disrupted
    6. 24. People Reconstruct Memories Each Time they Remember Them
      1. Memories Change
      2. Why Eyewitness Testimonies are Unreliable
      3. The Impact of Reconstructed Memories on User Research
    7. 25. It’s a Good Thing that People Forget
      1. A Formula to Show you how much you will Forget
      2. Design with Forgetting in Mind
    8. 26. The Most Vivid Memories are Wrong
      1. Flashbulb Memories are Vivid
      2. Vivid but Full of Errors
  11. How People Think
    1. 27. People Process Information Better in Bite-Sized Chunks
      1. Applying the Concept of Progressive Disclosure
      2. Counting Clicks isn’t what Counts
      3. Know who Needs what when
    2. 28. Some Types of Mental Processing are More Challenging than Others
      1. All Loads are not Equal
      2. Making Trade-Offs
      3. Use Fitts’s Law to Determine Motor Loads
      4. Sometimes you want to Increase Loads
    3. 29. Minds Wander 30 Percent of the Time
      1. Mind Wandering is a Very Common Phenomenon
      2. Why a Wandering Mind can be a Good Thing
      3. Why a Wandering Mind can be a Bad Thing
    4. 30. The more Uncertain People are, The More they Defend their Ideas
      1. Alter Our Beliefs or Deny the Information?
      2. Ask for Small Commitments
    5. 31. People Create Mental Models
      1. What Exactly is a Mental Model?
    6. 32. People Interact with Conceptual Models
      1. What if it’s Brand New and I Purposely want a Mismatch?
    7. 33. People Process Information best in Story form
      1. Tried-and-True Story Formats
      2. Classic Stories
      3. Stories Imply Causation
      4. Stories are Important in All Communications
    8. 34. People Learn best from Examples
    9. 35. People are Driven to Create Categories
      1. People Love to Categorize
      2. If you don’t Provide Categories, People will Create their Own
      3. Who Organizes it Doesn’t Matter as Much as How well it’s Organized
    10. 36. Time is Relative
      1. If People Feel Pressed for Time, they won’t Stop to Help Someone
      2. Expectations Change Over Time
    11. 37. People Screen out Information that Doesn’t Fit their Beliefs
    12. 38. People can be in a Flow State
    13. 39. Culture Affects how People Think
      1. East = Relationships; West = Individualistic
      2. Cultural Differences Show up in Brain Scans
  12. How People Focus Their Attention
    1. 40. Attention is Selective
      1. Unconscious Selective Attention
    2. 41. People Habituate to Information
    3. 42. Well-Practiced Skills don’t Require Conscious Attention
      1. Too Many Automatic Steps can Lead to Errors
    4. 43. Expectations of Frequency Affect Attention
      1. A Mental Model about Frequency
    5. 44. Sustained Attention Lasts about 10 Minutes
    6. 45. People Pay Attention Only to Salient Cues
    7. 46. People are Worse at Multitasking than they Think
      1. One Exception
      2. Do age and Multitasking Experience Make a Difference?
      3. Some People Enjoy Multitasking
    8. 47. Danger, Food, Sex, Movement, Faces, and Stories get the Most Attention
      1. Why People can’t Resist Paying Attention to Food, Sex, and Danger
    9. 48. Loud Noises Startle and get Attention
      1. People Habituate to Auditory Stimuli
    10. 49. For People to Pay Attention to Something, They Must First Perceive it
      1. Signal Detection Theory
      2. How to Apply Signal Detection Theory
  13. What Motivates People
    1. 50. People are more Motivated as they get Closer to a Goal
    2. 51. Variable Rewards are Powerful
      1. What the Casinos Know
      2. Operant Theory and Design
    3. 52. Dopamine Stimulates the Seeking of Information
      1. Pleasure Chemical or Motivation Chemical?
    4. 53. Unpredictability Keeps People Searching
      1. The Pavlovian Reflex
      2. Small Amounts are Even more Addictive
      3. The Dopamine Loop
    5. 54. People are more Motivated by Intrinsic Rewards than by Extrinsic Rewards
      1. From Algorithmic Work to Heuristic Work
    6. 55. People are Motivated by Progress, Mastery, and Control
      1. Small Signs of Progress can have a Big Effect
    7. 56. People are Motivated by Social Norms
    8. 57. People are Inherently Lazy
      1. Is Lazy Another Word for Efficient?
      2. Satisfy Plus Suffice Equals Satisfice
      3. Design Websites for Scanning, not Reading
    9. 58. People Will Look for Shortcuts Only if the Shortcuts are Easy
      1. Provide Defaults
    10. 59. People Assume it’s you, not the Situation
      1. But for You, it’s Situational
      2. People can’t Stop it Even when they know they’re Doing it
    11. 60. Forming or Changing a Habit is Easier than you Think
    12. 61. People are more Motivated to Compete when there are Fewer Competitors
      1. Competing Against 10 vs. Competing Against 100
      2. Building in Competition
    13. 62. People are Motivated by Autonomy
  14. People are Social Animals
    1. 63. The “Strong Tie” Group Size Limit is 150 People
      1. Dunbar’s Number
      2. The Social Group Size Limit for Humans
      3. Does that Number Seem Low to you?
      4. Is it The Weak Ties that are Important?
      5. Purposely Designing for Strong or Weak
    2. 64. People are Hard Wired for Imitation and Empathy
      1. Mirror Neurons Firing
    3. 65. Doing Things Together Bonds People Together
      1. Bonding in Online Communities
    4. 66. People Expect Online Interactions to Follow Social Rules
      1. Online Interactions have the Same Rules
    5. 67. People Lie to Differing Degrees Depending on the Medium
      1. Ninety-Two Percent of Graduate Students Lied
      2. Managers Lie Too
      3. People Lie most on the Telephone
      4. Do People Lie in Text Messages?
    6. 68. Speakers’ Brains and Listeners’ Brains Sync up During Communication
      1. Syncing Plus Anticipation Equals Understanding
    7. 69. The Brain Responds Uniquely to People you know Personally
    8. 70. Laughter Bonds People Together
      1. Tickle Laughter vs. Joy Laughter
      2. Laughter and Technology
    9. 71. People Can Tell when a Smile is Real or Fake more Accurately with Video
      1. Real or Fake?
      2. Questioning the 80 Percent Figure
  15. How People Feel
    1. 72. Some Emotions May be Universal
      1. The Controversy: Are Facial Expressions Universal?
      2. Cultural Differences in High Emotional Arousal vs. Low Emotional Arousal
    2. 73. Positive Feelings About a Group can Lead to Groupthink
    3. 74. Stories and Anecdotes Persuade more than Data Alone
    4. 75. If People Can’t Feel, then they Can’t Decide
      1. No Emotions = No Decisions
    5. 76. People are Programmed to Enjoy Surprises
      1. Craving the Unexpected
    6. 77. People are Happier when They’re Busy
      1. People Need an Excuse
    7. 78. Pastoral Scenes make People Happy
      1. Pastoral Scenes Provide “Attention Restoration”
    8. 79. People use “Look and Feel” as their First Indicator of Trust
    9. 80. Listening to Music Releases Dopamine in the Brain
      1. Pleasure vs. Anticipated Pleasure
    10. 81. The more Difficult Something is to Achieve, the more People Like it
      1. Cognitive Dissonance Theory
      2. Scarcity and Exclusivity
    11. 82. People Overestimate Reactions to Future Events
      1. People are Poor Predictors
      2. A Built-In Regulator
    12. 83. People Feel more Positive Before and after an Event than During it
    13. 84. People want what is Familiar when they’re Sad or Scared
      1. People want what’s Familiar
      2. The Desire for the Familiar is Related to the Fear of Loss
  16. People Make Mistakes
    1. 85. People will Always Make Mistakes; There is no Fail-Safe Product
      1. Assume that Something will go Wrong
      2. The Best Error Message is no Error Message
    2. 86. People make Errors when they are Under Stress
      1. Using a Website Under Stress
      2. The Yerkes-Dodson Law
      3. Tasks are more Stressful than you May Think
    3. 87. Not All Mistakes are Bad
    4. 88. People make Predictable Types of Errors
      1. Performance Errors
      2. Motor-Control Errors
    5. 89. People use Different Error Strategies
      1. Systematic Explorations
      2. Trial and Error Explorations
      3. Rigid Explorations
  17. How People Decide
    1. 90. People make most Decisions Unconsciously
      1. Unconscious doesn’t Mean Irrational or Bad
    2. 91. The Unconscious knows First
      1. The Unconscious Mind Picks up the Danger First
    3. 92. People want more Choices and Information than they can Process
      1. Too Many Choices Paralyzes the Thought Process
      2. Why People can’t Stop
    4. 93. People Think Choice Equals Control
    5. 94. People May Care about Time more than they Care about Money
      1. Spending Time vs. Spending Money
      2. People want to Connect
    6. 95. Mood Influences the Decision-Making Process
    7. 96. You can Engineer Better Group Decisions
      1. The Danger of Groupthink
      2. But Two People can be Better than One
    8. 97. People make Habit-Based Decisions or Value-Based Decisions, but not Both at the Same Time
      1. Habit-Based Decisions vs. Value-Based Decisions
      2. Only One or The Other
    9. 98. When People are Uncertain, they Let others Decide what to do
      1. Uncertainty Tips the Scale
      2. People Take Action Only if others Take Action
      3. Testimonials and Ratings are Powerful
    10. 99. People Think Others are more Easily Influenced than they are Themselves
      1. The Third-Person Effect
      2. Why do People Deceive Themselves this Way?
    11. 100. People Value a Product more Highly when it’s Physically in Front of them
      1. The Real Deal Counts
      2. Toys, Trinkets, and Plexiglas
      3. What about Samples?
      4. Is it Olfactory?
      5. A Pavlovian Response?
  18. References
  19. Index
  20. Credits

Product information

  • Title: 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, 2nd Edition
  • Author(s): Susan M. Weinschenk
  • Release date: June 2020
  • Publisher(s): New Riders
  • ISBN: 9780136746959