You are previewing Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty.

Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty

Cover of Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty by David Kadavy Published by John Wiley & Sons
  1. Cover
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Title Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Chapter 1: Why Design Matters
    1. What Design Really Is
    2. What Design Is Not
    3. The Layers of Design
    4. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 2: The Purpose of Design
    1. Visual Design and Its Relation to User Experience Design
    2. Sometimes a Visual Design Is Just Good Enough
    3. Sometimes Visual Design Is Your Advantage
    4. Reverse-Engineering the Twitter User Experience
    5. Knowledge Applied
  7. Chapter 3: Medium and Form in Typography
    1. The Tragedy of Misuse: Why You Hate Comic Sans
    2. The Shackles of the Typographer: The Unalterable Word
    3. The Formation of Our Alphabet
    4. The Birth of Our Letters
    5. The Type That Has Lived On
    6. Garamond Today: Why You Don’t Use Garamond on the Web
    7. Knowledge Applied
  8. Chapter 4: Technology and Culture
    1. How Trends Are Created
    2. SEO Is Design
    3. Knowledge Applied
  9. Chapter 5: Fool's Golden Ratio: Understanding Proportions
    1. What Is Proportion?
    2. Proportion and Design
    3. The Broken Promise of the Golden Ratio
    4. Other Pleasing Proportions
    5. Proportions in Our World
    6. Proportions at Work
    7. Knowledge Applied
  10. Chapter 6: Holding the Eye: Composition and Design Principles
    1. Compositional Relationships
    2. Design Principles
    3. Why the MailChimp Logo Is Beautiful: Use of Composition and Design Principles
    4. Knowledge Applied
  11. Chapter 7: Enlivening Information: Establishing a Visual Hierarchy
    1. What I Mean by “Hierarchy”
    2. Hierarchical Factors in Isolation
    3. Hierarchy at Work
    4. Knowledge Applied
  12. Chapter 8: Color Science
    1. What Is Color?
    2. The Tricks Your Eyes Play
    3. How the Visual System Works
    4. Defining Color
    5. Color Models and Data-Driven Graphics
    6. Thinking in Hexadecimal Color: Understanding the Colors of the Web
    7. Color Models in Action: Why Your Business Card Doesn’t (and Never Will) Match Your Website
    8. Knowledge Applied
  13. Chapter 9: Color Theory
    1. Color Response throughout Human History
    2. Color Response and Human Biology
    3. The Power of Red: Why You Don’t Stand a Chance in the “Target Challenge”
    4. Research on Other Colors
    5. Color and Culture
    6. Color Schemes and the Color Wheel
    7. Color Choices and Web Conventions
    8. The Interaction of Colors: Why Monet Never Used Black
    9. Color Schemes
    10. Creating a Mood with Color
    11. Tools for Creating Color Palettes and Schemes
    12. Knowledge Applied
  14. Appendix A: Choosing and Pairing Fonts
    1. Classifying Typefaces
    2. Looking At Letter Structure: The Form of the Skeleton
    3. Pairing Fonts
    4. All the Fonts You’ll Ever Need
  15. Appendix B: Typographic Etiquette
    1. Distorting Type: What Not to Do
    2. Setting Body Copy
    3. Tending to Typographic Details
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Chapter 1: Why Design Matters

Given that you’re reading this book, you probably don’t need much convincing that design is, in fact, important. Good design has clearly been fundamental to the success of many of the world’s largest companies, and interest in and awareness of design has exploded during the past couple decades. But exactly what kind of impact can design have? More important, what really defines the bounds of design?

Skillful use of good design can create experiences that are emotionally moving. At the same time, good design – through improved communication and clarity – can make things easier to use. The characteristics of good design can bring increased credibility to your company and ultimately influence the decisions of your customers. Skillful use of good design can affect emotions, build credibility, and earn trust. Finally, good design can actually make things easier to use. But to really achieve these results, you have to understand design holistically.

I witnessed firsthand the power of design in one of the world’s oldest functioning buildings. While I was studying the origins of modern typography in Rome, my studio was just a few blocks from the Pantheon. I spent hours sitting inside the building and people-watching. I’m not normally entertained by watching people, but inside the Pantheon, watching people is a different experience than it is elsewhere. Why? Because people-watching in the Pantheon gives you the opportunity to see the reactions of people who ...

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