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

book review ux design Aug 07, 2023

The markings of a great design can be measured by the user’s experience. The challenge is understanding the user to develop a design that caters to their needs and solves their challenges. How can this be done effectively?

The first step is understanding people.

Susan Weinshenk, author of 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, conducted extensive research to help UX designers better understand and connect with people. The book was published in 2011 and has been deemed a necessary tool for the designer's toolkit.


What are The Key Insights From "100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People"?

While this book is packed with many lessons to learn and gems to add to your repertoire, here are a few insights that can help elevate your design approach.

Understanding the psychological aspects of users is crucial for effective design. Having a solid understanding of behavioral responses to design allows designers to better align with the needs of the users. It creates a more user-centric design that has fewer errors and creates a better connection between the user and the design.


The user experience should be at the forefront of design considerations. It's easy to get caught up in the design’s appearance and somehow forget who the design should best serve. Keeping the user at the forefront is key to creating an effective design.


Incorporating storytelling elements enhances user engagement and connection. A good story takes you to another level of engagement. Harnessing that same concept as a designer will only make your design concept much more engaging.


The impact of color, typography, and visual aesthetics on user perception is significant. Many factors run together to create a cohesive design, colors, and typography included.


How Can Understanding Human Psychology Enhance Design Skills? 

Having a deeper understanding of human psychology enables a better insight into the purpose of the design. It helps designers create a design that goes beyond the surface and connects with the users beyond a functional measure.


Empathy is one of the most mentioned emotional measures when speaking of human connection to designs. It is the ability to understand and connect with a user from their perspective.


Understanding the Psychology of users also helps anticipate the users' response and how they are likely to respond. Such behavioral predictions can make a drastic difference in a user-centric design.


How Does The Book Provide Practical Tips For Creating Intuitive And Accessible Designs?

The essential principles of design include usability, clarity, accessibility, and user-centricity. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People offers practical tips that keep those principles in mind.


Design For Different Cognitive Styles 

As a designer, it's important to remember that while a design is created to solve a problem, different people process problem-solving in different ways. Considering this, it's necessary to keep cognitive processing like verbal, experiential, and visual at the forefront.


Leveraging Visual Hierarchy Aesthetics Are Important

Typography, colors, and placement play a major role in the cohesiveness of the design as well as how the user experiences it.


Simplify Complex Information 

A simple experience can be a more effective experience. Breaking the information down into smaller bits may make a difference for users, as too much information at once can result in overload. Also, clear concise language is a better route.


Are You Ready To Make A Difference In The User Experience? 

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People can easily be classified as a great resource to help designers become better. Understanding that people are at the core of the task is a certain way to keep designing in perspective.


Do you think you would make a great UX designer? Connect with one of our mentors and learn how your current skill set can help you transition into a design career.



Kay is an SEO content writer and copywriter who enjoys reading, drinking coffee, and hiking. She loves her avocados with blue corn tortilla chips.

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