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SofTech North Bay Software and Information Technology Association











Designing With the Mind in Mind: The Psychological Basis for UI Design Rules

DATE August 22, 2012 - 6:30 PM , San Rafael Corporate Center, 750 Lindaro Street San Rafael

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 software designers and developers who did not take Cognitive Psychology as part of their university education, or who took it long ago and would like an update based on recent research.


Jeff Johnson

President & Principal Consultant
UI Wizards

Jeff Johnson 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.

Johnson 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. 

Johnson 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), Designing with the Mind in
Mind (2010).  His latest book, coauthored with Austin Henderson, is

Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (2011).


Designing with the Mind-August 2012 pdf (4.55 MB)

John Johnson's Recent UI Design Books:

- GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Don'ts and Dos (2007)

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

- Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (2011)


About the Organization:


SofTECH is a non-profit trade organization committed to fostering communication and cooperation for business and technology professionals in Northern California's Marin and Sonoma counties. Its goal is to identify and showcase technology leaders and support the technology user community.

SofTECH develops programs and provides meaningful networking
opportunities for its members who include American River Ventures, Autodesk, Inc., Bank of Marin, Hanson Bridgett Marcus Vlahos & RudyLLP, iPost, JAG Wire Group, The K/A Group LLC, Phippen Design Group and Ridgecrest Marketing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


San Rafael Corporate Center
Tamalpais Room
750 Lindaro
San Rafael, CA 94901
parking & directions (PDF)


6:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m. Registration and Networking
7:15 p.m - 8:15 p.m Presentation
8:15 p.m -8:45 p.m Audience Q&A

Food and beverages will be served.

Members and Non-Members:
Pre-register for Register for: Designing With the Mind in Mind: The Psychological Basis for UI Design Rules - 8/22/2012

$20 at the door for non-members who did not register in advance

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