May 17, 2012

Designing with the Mind in Mind: The Psychology Behind User Interface & Web Design Rules

Presenter: Jeff Johnson, Ph.D.

UI design rules are not simple recipes to be applied mindlessly. Applying them effectively requires determining their applicability and precedence in specific situations. It also requires balancing the trade-offs that inevitably arise in situations when design rules appear to contradict each other.

By understanding the underlying psychology for the design rules, designers and evaluators enhance their ability to interpret and apply them.

Explaining that psychology is the focus of this talk. It is intended mainly for designers and developers who did not take Cognitive Psychology as part of their university education.

Jeff will be bringing one of his books to raffle off (the NBIS, no cost style) and other books to sell. Check out the links below to see if you might want to bring some extra cash or your checkbook with you.

Jeff spoke at another group (back in 2003) I did programming for (North Bay Multimedia Association). His talk was very entertaining and enlightening. I would recommend this talk for anyone who designs Websites, apps or software.
— Janet Zagoria

About Jeff Johnson
Jeff is President and Principal Consultant at UI Wizards, Inc., a product usability consulting firm that offers UI design, usability reviews, usability testing, and training ( He also is a principal at, a consultancy focused on elder usability and universal accessibility (

He has worked in the field of Human-Computer Interaction since 1978. After earning B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, he worked as a user-interface designer and implementer, engineer manager, usability tester, and researcher at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard Labs, and Sun Microsystems.

Jeff has taught at Stanford University and Mills College, and in 2006 was an Erskine Teaching Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch New Zealand.

He has published many articles and book chapters on a variety of topics in Human-Computer Interaction and the impact of technology on society. He frequently gives talks and tutorials at conferences and companies on usability and user-interface design.

Jeff is the author of:
GUI Bloopers: Don’ts and Dos for Software Developers and Web Designers (2000)

Web Bloopers: 60 Common Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (2003)

GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Design Don'ts and Dos (2007)
At Amazon: GUI Bloopers 2.0

Designing With the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding UI Design Rules (2010)
At Amazon: Designing With the Mind in Mind

His latest book, coauthored with Austin Henderson, is:
Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (2011)
At Amazon: Conceptual Models

North Bay Internet Society

Meetings: Third Thursday of Every Month
2012 Schedule:
No Meetings in Aug. & Dec.

We usually meet in the Tarsier room at O'Reilly's buildings at the north end of Sebastopol

Doors open for socializing at 6:30 PM, "formal" meeting begins at 7:00 PM. Pot-luck refreshments.