Book Suggestion: 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

The book suggestion of this week is an indispensable one not only for those that are starting out their careers, but to any designer. The book is 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk.

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.

The book is about very important topics that every designer should know. It talks about ways 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?

About the Susan

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: http://whatmakesthemclick.net.

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