Raleigh Discussion of "Designing with the Mind in Mind"

Let's get together late August at Centerline Digital in Raleigh to discuss Jeff Johnson's "Designing with the Mind in Mind." We'll geek out over the cognitive "why" behind design rules and discuss the always-fascinating topic of how visual design can affect our perceptions and behaviors.

You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Mind-Simple-Understanding-Interface/dp/012375030X

Taken from one reader's Amazon review:

"Developed from a course titled "Human-Computer Interaction" that he taught at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Dr. Jeff Johnson -- who holds degrees from Yale and Stanford, experience at Xerox and author of the book, "GUI Bloopers" -- offers contextual explanations as to how we visualize and categorize information, data and images in such a manner that engineers and programmers can design user interfaces in the most effective manner. It's a well-written, insightful and very practical guide that will be of interest to anyone interested in the how-and-why of computer/machine interface design.

Topics covered include:

  • How our visual perceptions are biased by experience, the current context, and user's intentions/goals;
  • How our vision is optimized to see structure; Gestalt principles of proximity, continuity, closure, symmetry, figure/ground separation and then how they are combined;
  • How structure enhances people's ability to scan long numbers; how visual hierarchy enables readers to focus on the most relevant information;
  • A discussion of psychological theory that indicates than we're "wired for language, but not for reading" and the design implications of these findings;
  • Limitations of our color vision and implications for how color is presented in user interfaces; the fact that user's peripheral vision is poor and common methods used to makes messages more visible (e.g. pop-ups, sound, and flash/motion);
  • Design implications regarding our limited short term and long term memory; how recognition and learning from experience for readers is typically easy while problem solving and recall is hard;
  • And, a discussion of time requirements for systems designers to consider.

Written in an easy-to-understand narrative, lecture-format with dozens of illustrations in each chapter, readers will find this book to be a delightful and welcome primer detailing the fundamental psychological principles behind effective design rules."


Centerline has plenty of after-hours street and lot parking available right out front and the book club happens at the big tables right inside the door.


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  • Selvaraj K.

    This is really worth to visit! Very informative discussion.

    August 30, 2013

    • Selvaraj K.

      Yes. I guessed it. But when we work on screens we work for one screen visual. So, we need to link with other screens as continuation. Is there any way to link pages but it would look like scrollable?

      September 4, 2013

    • Selvaraj K.

      I think, for now we have to merge in jpgs just for this purpose. :)

      September 4, 2013

  • Jacob G.

    Thanks everyone for coming! Especially good to see folks returning after they survived a previous discussion. :) And thanks to Kate for making it happen, of course. By the way, I looked up the whole foreign words in Mandarin thing, and it turns out they do have to write the words using a syllable-based sound-it-out pronunciation method.


    August 30, 2013

  • Kate

    Awesome turnout and good discussion! Thanks to everyone for coming!

    August 30, 2013

  • Leah L.

    Enjoyed the discussion and the company. Thanks Kate for hosting!

    August 30, 2013

  • Jacob G.

    August 22, 2013

  • Jacob G.

    Also, please comment here if you have moderately-strong feelings about there not being a Durham version of this book and we'll make it happen.

    July 18, 2013

    • Steve

      Hi Jacob. I would be interested in a Durham event if other folks are too, as I cannot make the Aug. 29th event. Thanks, Steve

      August 9, 2013

  • Jacob G.

    For those interested in Microinteractions, we'll be reading that in September!

    July 18, 2013

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