The book “100 Main Design Principles. 2nd edition “

image Hello, Habitants! The goal of any design is to get a response. We want the person to buy, read or do something. Developing a design without understanding the reasons for this or that behavior of people is like wandering around an unfamiliar city without a map: the movement will be chaotic, confusing and ineffective. This book is a symbiosis of science and practice that every designer needs.

If you want to create an intuitive and attractive design for a website, program or product, then you need to know what lies at the heart of the psychology of human behavior.

Call in psychology and behavioral science:

  • How to grab and hold attention?
  • Which vision is more important: central or peripheral?
  • How do people make decisions?
  • What is the optimal text length?
  • Why are some fonts better than others?

You will learn other secrets that will help you in your design. It will get better because Susan has already done all the hard work for you.

People are motivated by social norms

Jessica Nolan (2008) wanted to find out if behavior can be changed simply by providing people with information, and if so, what type of information is most likely to lead to behavior change.

Nolan wrote five posts about using less electricity:

  1. Using less electricity protects the environment.
  2. Using less electricity makes you more socially responsible.
  3. Using less electricity saves you money.
  4. Your neighbors used less electricity.
  5. This is how much electricity you used.

The only group that ended up using less electricity was the group that heard the fourth message. People changed their behavior after learning how much electricity their neighbors spent (by the way, this information was true).

People are influenced. Most tend to follow the norms or imitate the behavior of others, and if they are given the opportunity to look at themselves from the outside and compare their behavior with generally accepted norms, most will change their behavior to better correspond to what others are doing.


  • People attach great importance to making sure that their behavior does not stand out from the rest.
  • If you want to change behavior, let people know how others are doing. Most likely, they will begin to change their behavior to conform to social norms.
  • To leverage social norms, provide information in your content about other people’s behavior and, if possible, directly show how similar or different it is to how your users behave.

Laziness is the engine of progress

This statement may seem somewhat exaggerated. But research shows that people try to minimize the work that needs to be done to solve a problem.

Is “lazy” a synonym for “effective”?

In the process of endless evolution, people have learned that the one who conserves energy lives longer and better. You need to spend enough energy to have enough resources (food, water, sex, shelter), but energy will be depleted if you spend too much time chasing more. Of course, questions such as “Enough is how much?” And “When is“ enough ”coming?” And “How long is it enough?” Still bother us, but philosophical concepts aside, one can see that for most activities and most of the time, a principle called the principle satisfactory (reasonable sufficiency).

Satisfaction + Sufficiency = Reasonable Sufficiency

The term “satisfice” was coined by Herbert Simon. With this term, he described a decision-making strategy in which a person acts more adequately than optimally. The concept of satisfaction is based on the fact that a complete assessment of all parameters not only requires unjustified costs, but is simply impossible. According to Simon, we often don’t have the information to weigh everything. So, in any situation, a “what to do” or “good enough” decision is preferable to an optimal or perfect decision. If a person tends to follow a satisfactory solution rather than an optimal one, then this should be taken into account when creating websites, software and other products.

Design websites to view, not read

In his book Don’t Make Me Think (2005), Steve Krug applies the idea of ​​satisfaction to the behaviors seen in website visitors. You are hoping that the visitor will read the entire page, but as Krug writes, “in fact, what happens most often (if you’re lucky) is a glance at each new page, viewing some chunks and clicking on the first link. which aroused interest or vaguely resembles what the visitor was looking for. Usually there are large chunks of pages that the user hasn’t even looked at. ” The circle suggests that a web page is like a bulletin board – you should assume that people will just take a quick glance at it.

In light of the above, quickly review the following screenshots of the home pages of some government websites (Figures 57.1 and 57.2).


By looking at these pictures, you can see that the Appalachian site requires more cognitive effort than the rest. You may decide that one of these sites is easier to use based on the impression it made on you during one or two seconds of browsing. The health care website has a larger font size, better separation of space, and takes up less page space than the Appalachian website.

The first impression of satisfaction is extremely important in deciding whether to stay on this site or not.


  • A person wants to achieve what he wants with the least amount of effort. Maybe this does not happen in all cases, but more often it happens that way.
  • People follow the principle of satisfaction, that is, they are looking for an acceptable solution rather than an optimal one.

More details about the book can be found at website of the publishing house

Table of contents


For Habitants a 25% discount on a coupon – Design

Upon payment for the paper version of the book, an e-book is sent to the e-mail.

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