Understanding people in design

I enjoyed reading the book <<100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People>> written by Dr Susan M. Weinschenk (2011). Indeed, I will recommend it.  I thought it’s a technology book, actually it more likes an interesting humanistic book with real science and research examples.

I made notes of some tips that are particularly call my attention:

  • Use patterns as much as possible, since people will automatically be looking for them. Use grouping and white space to create patterns (p.8).
  • People recognize and react to faces on Web pages faster than anything else on the page (at least by those who are not autistic) (p.10).
  • The “Chromostereopsis” effect is strongest with red and blue. (p.22)
  • If you could limit the information you give people to four items, that would actually be a great idea, but you don’t have to be that drastic. You can use more pieces of information as long as you group and chunk (p.50).
  • You can store concrete words (table, chair) in long-term memory more easily than abstract words (justice, democracy) (p.54).
  • People reconstruct memories each time they remember them (p.57).
  • Mind wandering is similar to but not the same as daydreaming… During everyday activities your minds wander up to 30 percent of the time, and in some cases, such as driving on an uncrowded highway, it might be as high as 70 percent (p.68).
  • People can’t actually multitask (p.105).
  • Danger, food, sex, movement, faces, and stories get the most attention (p.108).
  • The dopamine loop may helps us understand why people are addicted to the Internet (p.124). This article provides more details.
  • People will satisfy, that is, look for the good-enough solution rather than the optimal solution (p.135).
  • People lie most on the phone, and least with pen and paper (p.155).
  • You don’t necessarily need humor or jokes to get people to laugh. Normal conversation and interactions will produce more laughter than intentional use of human or jokes (p.160).
  • If you want people to laugh, then laugh yourself. Laughter is contagious (p.160).
  • People who are busy are happier (p.174).
  • The unconscious acts more quickly than the conscious mind. This means that people often take actions or have preferences, but cannot explain why the prefer what they do (p.205).

In this book, some web sources will be helpful later:

In addition, some recommended videos are worth viewing:


One thought on “Understanding people in design

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