UX Book Club: 100 Things Every Designer Should Know About People

June 3, 2014

This is a great book if you want a summary of the psycholocial research studies that relate to human computer interaction and design. Summaries are great because you can gain a quick gist of the study. However, summaries can also be flawed because they often leave out essential details about the methodologies and findings.


Some of the valuable takeaways:


People Love Faces:

  • If you put an image of a face on the site, that will be the first thing the user’s eyes focus on.

  • Even if it is a cartoon, it has a big emotional impact. 

  • After we see their face, we look where the their eyes look.


Placing Most Important Information:    

  • People look at things based on their mental model, they have a sense of where the search button will be.

  • Put the most important info, or things you want people to focus on, in top third of the screen, or in the middle.

  •  Avoid putting anything important at the edges



  • High contrast color schemes are hard on the eyes. Color has meaning associated with it. 

  • Color means different things to different cultures.



  • Capitals letters look like SHOUTING. Use uppercase sparingly. Save for headlines, getting someone’s attention

  • Don’t assume people will remember specifics

  • Providing a meaningful title is essential

  • Use simple words and fewer syllables to make accessible


Line Length    

  • people read faster with a longer line length,

  • but prefer a shorter line length

  • long line (100 characters per line)

  • short line (45-72 characters per line)



  • People can only remember 4 things at once (some say 7)

  • (Nav bar size ideal)

  • Don’t ask people to remember info from one page to another

  • Chunking helps remember

  • Concrete words store long term better than abstract words (Kitties vs. Love)

visual memory stronger than words

  • when you are sad you tend to remember sad things

  • info in the middle of a presentation will be the least likely to be remembered

  • memories change, they reconstruct every time we think of them


Progressive Disclosure

  • tabbing vs. scrolling

  • providing only the info people need at the moment. one piece at a time. bite sized, show people what they need, when they need it

  • vs. Minimizing Clicks, scrolling down

  • Do UR to make sure you know what people want



  • People get more motivated when we get closer to a goal

  • Motivated to compete when there are fewer competitors












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