100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People

About 99% of the time I really don’t enjoy industry books. I do my best to read as many as possible, but it’s only to keep up with our industry more than because I enjoy them. Let’s face it – the workings of the web can be a bit dry. So it was quite surprising how much I enjoyed Susan Weinschenk’s book, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People. I literally couldn’t put the book down and read it quickly in just a day or two. At 244 full colored pages, the book was a look into the psychology  of how people read, think, act and socialize. I’ve always been interested in psychology and even pursued a minor in it in college. Psychology is actually very important in the web world, as it literally dictates most of the guidelines and best practices we follow. 100 Things is less about specific techniques and more about they why. I love how the book dispels some of the myths around the web and how people respond to the web. I learned a great many things in the book, but some of my favorite were the studies and research around typography. Some of these were:

  • Sans serif type is not harder to read than serif.
  • Capitalized text isn’t harder to read.
  • The idea of 5-9 nav items is false – while not always practical, it should be more about 4.

This book is definitely a must read for any designer, and I’d even recommend it to developers as well. It never hurts to learn as much as possible about every aspect of our industry. You can get it from Amazon for $17.99