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Designing with the Mind in Mind

Book Description

Early user interface (UI) practitioners were trained in cognitive psychology, from which UI design rules were based. But as the field evolves, designers enter the field from many disciplines. Practitioners today have enough experience in UI design that they have been exposed to design rules, but it is essential that they understand the psychology behind the rules in order to effectively apply them. In Designing with the Mind in Mind, Jeff Johnson, author of the best selling GUI Bloopers, provides designers with just enough background in perceptual and cognitive psychology that UI design guidelines make intuitive sense rather than being just a list of rules to follow.

  • The first practical, all-in-one source for practitioners on user interface design rules and why, when and how to apply them
  • Provides just enough background into the reasoning behind interface design rules that practitioners can make informed decisions in every project
  • Gives practitioners the insight they need to make educated design decisions when confronted with tradeoffs, including competing design rules, time constrictions, or limited resources

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter 1: We Perceive What We Expect
    1. Perception Biased by Experience
    2. Perception Biased by Current Context
    3. Perception Biased by Goals
    4. Design Implications
  9. Chapter 2: Our Vision is Optimized to See Structure
    1. Gestalt Principle: Proximity
    2. Gestalt Principle: Similarity
    3. Gestalt Principle: Continuity
    4. Gestalt Principle: Closure
    5. Gestalt Principle: Symmetry
    6. Gestalt Principle: Figure/Ground
    7. Gestalt Principles: Common Fate
    8. Gestalt Principles: Combined
  10. Chapter 3: We Seek and Use Visual Structure
    1. Structure Enhances People’s Ability to Scan Long Numbers
    2. Data-Specific Controls Provide Even More Structure
    3. Visual Hierarchy Lets People Focus on the Relevant Information
  11. Chapter 4: Reading is Unnatural
    1. We’re Wired for Language, But not for Reading
    2. Is Reading Feature-Driven or Context-Driven?
    3. Skilled and Unskilled Reading Uses Different Parts of the Brain
    4. Poor Information Design can Disrupt Reading
    5. Much of the Reading Required by Software is Unnecessary
    6. Test on Real Users
  12. Chapter 5: Our Color Vision is Limited
    1. How Color Vision Works
    2. Vision is Optimized for Edge Contrast, not Brightness
    3. Ability to Discriminate Colors Depends on How colors are Presented
    4. Color-Blindness
    5. External Factors that Influence the Ability to Distinguish Colors
    6. Guidelines for Using Color
  13. Chapter 6: Our Peripheral Vision is Poor
    1. Resolution of the Fovea Compared to that of the Periphery
    2. Is the Visual Periphery Good for Anything?
    3. Examples from Computer User Interfaces
    4. Common Methods of Making Messages Visible
    5. Heavy Artillery for Making Users Notice Messages: Use Sparingly
  14. Chapter 7: Our Attention is Limited; Our Memory is Imperfect
    1. Short vs. Long-Term Memory
    2. A Modern View of Memory
    3. Characteristics of Short-Term Memory
    4. Implications of Short-Term Memory Characteristics for User Interface Design
    5. Characteristics of Long-Term Memory
    6. Implications of Long-Term Memory Characteristics for User Interface Design
  15. Chapter 8: Limits on Attention Shape Thought and Action
    1. We Focus on our Goals and Pay Little Attention to our Tools
    2. We Use External Aids to Keep Track of What we are Doing
    3. We Follow Information “Scent” Toward Our Goal
    4. We Prefer Familiar Paths
    5. Our Thought Cycle: Goal, Execute, Evaluate
    6. After We Achieve a Task’s Primary Goal, We Often Forget Cleanup Steps
  16. Chapter 9: Recognition is Easy; Recall is Hard
    1. Recognition is Easy
    2. Recall is Hard
    3. Recognition Versus Recall: Implications for UI Design
  17. Chapter 10: Learning from Experience and Performing Learned Actions are Easy; Problem Solving and Calculation are Hard
    1. We have Three Brains
    2. Learning from Experience is (Usually) Easy
    3. Performing Learned Actions is Easy
    4. Problem Solving and Calculation are Hard
    5. Implications for User Interface Design
    6. Answers to Puzzles on Pages 124 and 125
  18. Chapter 11: Many Factors Affect Learning
    1. We Learn Faster When Operation is Task-Focused, Simple, and Consistent
    2. We Learn Faster when Vocabulary is Task-Focused, Familiar, and Consistent
    3. We Learn Faster when Risk is Low
  19. Chapter 12: We Have Time Requirements
    1. Responsiveness Defined
    2. The Many Time Constants of the Human Brain
    3. Engineering Approximations of Time Constants: Orders of Magnitude
    4. Designing to Meet Real-Time Human Interaction Deadlines
    5. Additional Guidelines for Achieving Responsive Interactive Systems
    6. Achieving Responsiveness is Important
  20. Epilogue
  21. Well-known User Interface Design Rules
  22. Bibliography
  23. Index