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100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,892 ratings  ·  181 reviews
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 ever ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published April 24th 2011 by New Riders Publishing (first published 2011)
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The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanDon't Make Me Think by Steve KrugThe Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People by Susan M. WeinschenkAbout Face 3 by Alan Cooper
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Community Reviews

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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,892 ratings  ·  181 reviews

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Graham Herrli
You can tell that this book was created by a designer. It's visually appealing: the content is broken into colored call-out boxes with headers, effectively breaking up the flow of the page enough to keep you engaged but not enough to distract you. The headers are also useful mnemonically because you can go back and look over them each day when you finish reading to help remember what you've read.

At the end of each of the 100 sections, there's a box of Takeaways, which gives practical advice on
Nelson Zagalo
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent work in compiling studies and theories of psychology that are fundamental to design, particularly for graphic and interaction.

Written in a very light, concrete, and easy to understand mode, very quick to pick and apply.

If you're used to read on IxD or UX you'll probably not found anything new here, however it serves as an excellent reminder.
Shalini Sinha
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, psychology, design
A well-researched and well-documented compendium of design facts to get insights into customers' pyschology that drives their behaviour and interactions.

Recommended to anyone who is a new design student or is simply developing (/designing) or wants to develop any intuitive application or just anyone curious who intends to understand this data-driven and systematic process to analyze their own behaviour. If you already have some hands on experience, then probably you may not find it very engaging
Leonard Houx
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Like so many books these days, 100 Things badly needs a copy editor. For example, Weinschenk talks about buying a present, "for [her] online daughter" (What? You mean your daughter exists only in Second Life?). Another section seems to have had had some paragraphs inadvertently deleted, rendering the section incoherent.

That said, 100 Things book contained lots of great information told in a relatively interesting, entertaining style. With so many great books on design and UX, I wouldn't recommen
Curtis Newbold
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I used this book for a Master's course I teach on design principles and desktop publishing. Students seemed to enjoy it and I found it to be a useful resource for them as they sought ways to persuade me (and their clients for whom they did projects) of their design choices. The practicality of this book and its easy reading make it a worthwhile book to keep on your shelf. Weinschenk cites interesting studies that clearly illuminate the design principle, making abstract research seem very practic ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux
I was surprised how much I learned. There is a lot in here and it is very readable. Many topics I knew about 70% of, and that extra 30% covered in this book was truly interesting.
sarah semark
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
So many things that made me say "ohhhhh" or "hmmm." Definitely worth a read if you like design and/or brains and all the odd things they do.
Penelope Singer
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brain, owned, design
This is an excellent book on the what, how, and why people do what they do. While geared toward its relationship to communication and design, especially web design, this book still has substantial insights everyone can benefit from. The contents aren't earth-shattering revelations for a lot of seasoned design professionals, but the book does provide a good refresher/reminder of salient principles combined with scientific analysis, case studies and examples--particularly helpful when talking with ...more
Jimmy Longley
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbooks
Reviewed as part of my 100 books challenge:
Run-on Sentence Summary
A list of 100 takeaways from modern psychology relating to how people think, and their implications for design.

This is a short, fun little book filled with lots of cool insights such as "51. Variable Rewards are Powerful", or "74. Anecdotes Persuade More than Data." It reeks of a set of blog posts converted into a book, but that doesn’t really matter. Its a short read, and I learned n
Bindu Upadhyay
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: usi
This is one amazing book that everyone must read.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Im not a designer so I can't speak for how useful it is to designers, but as a strategy consultant, I found it really great. It's a great intro to a lot of design considerations for anyone who wants to build something. I don't think it's meant to be a deep dive into design and that world of thinking. Very easy and fun read.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great learn-while-you-wait reading

I liked the format of this because I could reach a section or two or three at a time and still feel like I was making progress through the book. It was useful to highlight things that come up a lot in my professional life, so I can refer back and cite some of the studies, or even just have the information tucked in my mind, so when people behave a certain way I can nod knowingly to myself and approach the situation with a little backup.
Olena Sovyn
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting book that represent latest experiments in social psychology and how they attach web design. For me most interesting part was about people motivation. I really do not know that there is physiological reason for why people like to spend time in the social networks. Very unpredictable part. Good to read for anyone who is working in online marketing or creating design for the products
Tanay Agrawal
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is not that great book. But still I recommend everyone to read. Gives you an idea how people think, make decisions etc. Research done on all subjects discussed by Author is really commendable. It is for that I rate it 5/5!
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is so helpful, especially when read on my iPad where I can easily get to the links and watch videos, etc.

Helping me with the design on an online journal!!
Chhavi Shrivastava
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended not just for designers, but curious people in general.
Viet Hung Nguyen
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: designers, marketers
Would recommend this one for designers, marketers. Yet, it should be a good book for everyone who want to understand about human behaviors and thought process.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: design
- Most parts of it has the embarrassing narrative between being academic and practical: I understand the appeal of "100 things", yet every rule is only explained very briefly without enough relatable examples in the field of design. The connection between the academic research and the practical application in design is not always clear. Lots of these things are either too commonsensical/self-evident(such as people use repetition to make memory stick or time is relative...), or lack validation.

Sheri Yar
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, I’m Surprise!
I’m not the person who believes in books that usually starts/ ends with 3, 5, 100 steps/things that talks about success, self-help leadership or great designs. I tend to ignore such books; was skeptical when I was buying this book too. But, it turned out be a surprise (so the lesson is “don’t judge a book from the cover”:).

INDEED, its targeted for designers (beginner & intermediate level) . Easy to read and connect. It talks about biology, behavioral science, how people un
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: design-ux
Beautifully designed and well-organized. I love how each "thing" has its own spread or page with concise takeaways at the bottom.

This layout must have required ruthless editing, though. At times, the explanations were so brief that it left me with more questions than answers, especially in the descriptions of psychology experiments, which are hard to cover accurately with few words. My copy is filled with skeptical marginalia.

Also, beware quick interpretation of the headings (the "100 things")!
Vanessa Princessa
I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

The key message in this book:

When designing a product, it’s vital to consider how people’s minds work. From vision to the mechanics of memory and unconscious decision-making, the creation of a successful product requires that human psychology come first. Your design has to be tailored toward your specific target audience and communicate to them effectively.

Actionable advice

Incorporate unpredictability into your designs.
Unpredictability stimulates the product
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-continue
A collection of psychological/neurological/sociological "facts" about human nature which are rather loosely related to the topic of design.
A much better book in every regard is Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences

Ok, negative first:
The lack of relevance of some of the sections (e.g. "73 Emotions are tied to muscle movement and vice versa") makes me question the way she approached writing the book - interesting facts first or designer's needs first
Leo Sorge
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This essay is a fantastic summary of psychological issues, all deeply documented, useful to everybody who wants to better communicate with the others but also with himself. The book is really solid and dense.
All intrinsic Vs. extrinsic motivation matches are of great importance to the motivational design experts, not only in the direct chapter (What Motivates People, suggestions 50 to 62) but also elsewhere (90, 91, 92).
I have to say that I found this book adapted to (web) designers. My favorite
Ulf Sthamer
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great overview of psychological effects that are relevant for designers. It's good for beginners but can be helpful for people with a firm understanding of psychology too. As one effect states: repetition helps your memory.
Each effect is explained one 1-3 pages, the scientific sources are solid. Of course it can only be an overview or introduction, but manages to be a great one.
Prateek Pal
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely recommended

Super useful book.

Brilliant psychological insights packed in a compact book with a lens on usability and design. Would definitely recommend to any person involved in design of any kind such as designers of course, marketers, product managers, software and UI/UX developers, etc.
Mark Nguyen
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Carry this one around.
Susan wrote a really practical handbook for designers, marketers, and entrepreneurs alike. I'll be picking this book up for friends because it's extremely practical. It's opened up a whole new world for me -in being concious of how design affects our decisions. I'm excited to look deeper into this topic.
Thanks Susan.
Johnny Graber
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
A book full of little reminders of things you have learned along the way. The references to studies proving that those things work is a great addition. However, there is next to no unique content that you only get when you read this book and there is no room to cover those 100 things in the depth they deserve.
Shruti Kartikey
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read for a designer or anyone involved in making products. The books does justice to every point mentioned in it in terms of the way its has been written and designed. It will answer all the reasons behind all the decisions you make as a designer on a day to day basis.
Mike Bell
Organized collection of research studies synopsized and focused on the psychology of design. I particularly liked the sections on "what motivates people" and "how people decide."

It is well written, very scannable, and ends each chapter with takeaways.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
This is a great resource full of heuristics that help me remember principles of design and human behavior to make my work better every day. This is the perfect reference to keep at your desk for anyone creating content, design, presentations, or writing in general.
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Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral psychologist. She applies neuroscience to predict, understand, and explain what motivates people and how to get people to take action.

Dr. Weinschenk is the author of several books, including How To Get People To Do Stuff, 100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People, 100 Things Every Designer Needs
“People seek out and pay attention to information and cues that confirm their beliefs. They don’t seek out—in fact, they ignore or even discount—information that doesn’t support what they already believe.” 1 likes
“People are very willing to click multiple times. In fact, they won’t even notice they’re clicking if they’re getting the right amount of information at each click to keep them going down the path. Think progressive disclosure; don’t count clicks.” 1 likes
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