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100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]

by Susan Weinschenk
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 24, 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 (Voices That Matter) + Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter) + The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition
Price for all three: $60.23

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology, and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral scientist, applying psychology to the design of communication and online interactions. She is a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, start-ups, educational institutions, non-profits, and US government agencies. Susan is the founder of the Weinschenk Institute, LLC. She is a speaker and teacher, and has written several books, including How To Get People To Do Stuff, 100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, and Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? Susan writes two popular blogs: the Brain Wise blog at Psychology Today, and her own blog at her website: theteamw.com/blog.

Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (April 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321767535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321767530
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 3.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan has a Ph.D.in Psychology and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral psychologist. She speaks, consults, teaches, and writes books about applying psychology to the workplace.

While working on her Ph.D., Dr. Weinschenk conducted research on the left and right half of the brain. She was a college psychology professor at State University of New York (Oswego) and then began consulting. Early in her career she focused on applying cognitive psychology (how people think, remember, perceive), to make technology more usable. Recently she's gone back to her neuropsychology roots, studying the newest brain science and research on unconscious mental processing -- decision-making, persuasion, and emotion.

Susan started college at Virgina Tech and finished her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Northeastern. She then earned a Masters and Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University.

Susan founded and runs the Weinschenk Institute, LLC in Wisconsin (USA), where she lives with her husband. Her two children are grown and "launched". When not teaching, speaking, writing, or blogging, Susan performs in community theatre, sings jazz, reads books, and watches movies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise yet densely packed with UX goodness July 5, 2011
By Tim
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.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immediately useful tips May 25, 2011
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.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of scientific facts December 30, 2011
By Joe I
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.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not made for the kindle October 31, 2012
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives a deeper understanding of what matters in design August 29, 2012
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent and insightful book for any marketing person or a design...
the book is insightful, well planned and goes deep into areas we are not normally conscious of.
The chapter on meaning was particularly an eye opener.
Published 2 days ago by cedric
4.0 out of 5 stars This book provides terrific insight into the mind’s of people.
Some favorite “things”:

It’s a myth that capital letters are inherently hard to read.
Reading a computer screen is harder than reading paper. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Katie Allred
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome reference
100 amazing technical and psychological design insights, all compiled and indexed. Pretty much all of them I knew to some degree already, but now I am armed with a very quick... Read more
Published 14 days ago by feargal
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
This is a really interesting book and it opened my eyes to a lot of new ideas that I hadn't really considered before. Read more
Published 21 days ago by MRS VCW MILLER
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 things every teacher, photographer, engineer, artist, student,...
Immensly valuable, concise book. Not just for designers but for everyone. No need to read front to back. Read more
Published 1 month ago by bert
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, HORRIBLE formatting.
I have very much enjoyed the information in this book. The writing is clear and interesting and provides many, many things to think about as a designer, especially for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by bendybot
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special
It's short, easy to read and it has a few useful tips.

On the other hand, as it talks of so many things IT REALLY DOESN'T GET DEEPLY IN ANYTHING (indeed, it gets really... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lucas Zileri
5.0 out of 5 stars Humans exist.
I work in design and brand industry. I know not everyone is like me. They don't covet fine iconography on Canon or Nikon DSLR dials. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rio Chowdhury
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Good book. Bought it to spruce up my design and physchology knowledge, in line with recommendation from Mr Scott "Dilbert" Adams (whose "how to fail at everything... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Siddhartha
2.0 out of 5 stars Way too basic.
Unless you are a robot or a sociopath, this book isn't going to provide much value to you as a human oriented designer. Extremely basic level knowledge in here. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Troyus
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I am 38 and want to become a web/print/video (multi-media) designer
To be good in any discipline you'll have to put a gazillion hours of practice into it. Many web designers lack a solid background in fine arts and it shows. You should be able to express your ideas well with a pencil before going to photoshop. To succeed, your designs should have a stamp, be... Read more
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