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Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Useful, Beautiful Web by Alexander Dawson

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Bonus Chapter 2: The Influence of Sociology

Discovering how culture and society affect distinction

Although you can influence users by implementing a variety of design techniques, you must recognize the importance of social interaction and community in building a distinctive design. Users make or break a site’s success, so you need to connect with your visitors like never before. You do this by expanding customization possibilities on your site’s interface and designing with users’ requirements and needs in mind. In this chapter, I examine the concept of using universal design to appeal to the widest audience. I cover how to target the average user and why a diverse, immersive experience breeds distinction.

You also see the cultural influences that can weigh heavily on content visibility and usefulness, social psychology, and the role and influence that groups can have on ensuring regular visitation. Later, I examine brand attachment, the importance of understanding culture, game mechanics, and sociological engineering. Finally, I devote an entire section to the art of communication, empathy, and leveraging feedback to improve your sites distinctiveness.

Exploring the Myths of Universal Design

You may be astonished to learn that so much theory and research exists to help you make the most of a design. This chapter covers a subject that does not get nearly as much attention as it deserves — sociology. Sociology is the science of how humans interact. Learning more about this science ...

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