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What concepts of perception should designers be aware of when designing?

What concepts of perception should designers be aware of when designing?



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Visual perception is a huge topic, much of which is relevant to the work of a designer. I have identified topics in visual memory, visual cognition and colour perception that are relevant, and I'm sure there is more I don't yet know of.

What would be a good place to start for a designer looking for concepts of perception to be aware of when designing? For example, what books (or other accessible resources, such as web pages, applied research topics) exist that are suitable?

I'm very interested in learning more about visual perception and how it pertains to graphic design. I work predominately in print and environmental graphic design but any area of graphic design should be equally applicable.


Not surprisingly, there's a huge load of stuff you need to consider when designing things for users. Here's a good paper written by some perception and vision researchers on the topic that might give you a more detailed introduction that what you have seen so far:

Healey, C.G. & Enns, J.T. (in press). Attention and visual memory in visualization and computer graphics. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

It's open access as well!


Another relevant resource might be Stephen Kosslyn's Clear and to the Point. It's a book about designing presentations based on psychological principles. The principles that he covers certainly generalize beyond slides for presentations.

I've read it myself, and would recommend it to designers who are unfamiliar with psychological research. If you are already well versed in major psychological findings of the past 100 years, then this book won't offer much that you don't already know.