The Psychology of Design

How People Think and Learn

1 People process information better in bite-sized chunks

2 People need context

3 People filter information

4 The more uncertain people are, the more they defend their ideas

5 People have mental models

6 People process information best in story form

7 People learn best from examples

8 Short-term memory is limited

9 People remember only four items at once

10 People have to use information to make it stick

11 It’s easier to recognize information than recall it

12 Memory takes a lot of mental resources

13 People reconstruct memories each time they remember them

14 Forgetting is programmed in

15 People are driven to create categories

16 Time is relative

17 There are four ways to be creative

18 People can be in a flow state

19 Culture affects how people think

20 People learn best in 20-minute chunks

21 People have different learning styles

22 People learn from making mistakes

How to Grab and Hold People’s Attention

23 Sustained Attention Lasts About 10 Minutes

24 The Unconscious Directs Attention

25 Expectations of Frequency Affect Attention

26 People Can’t Actually Multitask

27 The Mind Wanders 30 Percent of the Time

How to Motivate People to Take Action

28 People are more motivated as they get closer to a goal

29 Variable rewards are powerful

30 People’s behavior can be shaped

31 Dopamine makes people addicted to seeking information

32 People respond to cues in the environment

33 People are more motivated by intrinsic rewards than by extrinsic rewards

34 People are motivated by progress, mastery, and control

35 People’s ability to delay gratification (or not) starts young

36 People are inherently lazy

37 Forming a habit takes a long time and requires small steps

38 People are more motivated to compete when there are fewer competitors

39 People are motivated by autonomy

How people listen and see

40 Multiple Sensory Channels Compete

41 People Have to Hear Before They Can Listen

42 Vision Trumps All the Senses

43 People Read in a Certain Direction

44 It’s a myth that uppercase letters are inherently hard to read

45 Titles and Headlines Provide Critical Context

46 Hard to Read = Hard to Do

47 Font Size Matters

48 Peripheral Vision Is Used More Than Central Vision to Get the Gist of What Is Going On

49 There’s a Special Part of the Brain Just for Recognizing Faces

50 Red and Blue Together Are Hard on the Eyes

51 Nine Percent of Men and 0.5 Percent of Women Are Color Blind

52 The Meanings of Colors Vary by Group and Culture

How People React To The Environment

53 The more filled a room is, the more energy people have

54 Dark rooms put people to sleep

55 If you are out of sight, you might be out of mind

56 People are affected by the arrangement of furniture

57 It’s easy for people to lose interest online

58 People get tired and hungry

59 People are affected by temperature

60 When people are uncomfortable, they can’t pay attention

61 People expect connectivity

How People React Emotionally

62 People respond more to anecdotes than to data

63 Stories engage people emotionally

64 People are programmed to enjoy surprises

65 People feel safe when things are predictable

66 People need to feel safe in order to participate

67 People are happier when they’re busy

68 People react to beauty

69 Listening to music releases dopamine in the brain

70 People want what is familiar when they’re sad or scared

71 The more scarce something is, the more valuable people will feel it is

How People React to You

72 People obey authority figures

73 People “read” other people in an instant and unconsciously

74 Be Honest and Authentic

75 People assign meaning to your body positions and movement

76 People assign meaning to your hand gestures

77 People assign meaning to your tone of voice

78 People assign meaning to your face and eye movements

79 People imitate your emotions and feel your feelings

80 Clothes do make you

81 People Listen to and are Persuaded by Those Similar To/Attractive to them

82 Speakers’ brains and listeners’ brains sync up during communication

83 The brain responds uniquely to people you know personally

84 People want you to control the room

How People Decide To Take Action

85 People make most decisions unconsciously

86 Fear of loss trumps anticipation of gain

87 People want more choices and information than they can actually process

88 People think choice equals control

89 People might care about time more than they care about money

90 Mood influences the decision-making process

91 Group decision-making can be faulty

92 People are swayed by a dominant personality

93 When people are uncertain, they look to others to decide what to do

94 People think others are more easily influenced than they themselves are

95 People value a product more highly when it’s physically in front of them

96 People want to keep a consistent persona

97 Small steps can change personas

98 Writing by Hand can Increase Commitment

99 People will act in order to relieve a sense of obligation

100 When people say no the first time, they often say yes the next time

How to Craft Your Presentation

Your 90-day Improvement Plan