IAT-102: 08 People Only Care So Much

IAT-102: 08 People Only Care So Much — A slide deck

People Only Care Sooo Much

Lecture outline

In this week's lecture

  • Considering audience in design
  • Considering medium in design

Lecture slides will be available the morning of the lecture.

Close All Laptops Please

Only the back row may use laptops during lecture.

IAT-102 — P04: Colour
An outline of a vehicle
What is this?
An outline of a vehicle with the colours commonly associated with it
What is this?
A city bus
How (or why) did the colours help your recognition?
A transit sign
Is this representation accurate? How so (or not)?
A stop sign in the woods
Is the contrast helpful here? How so (or not)?

People Only Care Sooo Much

Recognition and Recall

"Psychologists like to make the distinction between two types of memory retrieval: recognition versus recall. Think of meeting a person on the street. You can often tell quite easily if you have seen [them] before, but coming up with [their] name (if the person is familiar) is a lot harder."
Memory Recognition and Recall in User Interfaces (Budiu, 2014)


Activation of memory tends to be influenced by three factors:

  • Practice: how many times the memory was called on?
  • Recency: how recently was it used?
  • Context: what is currently in our environment?

Stepping Past Stereotypes

Part of what we need to do as designers is move beyond stereotypes, or 'quick' thinking. We need to understand the audience we are designing for.

Design for 'Everyone'

Means designing for no-one.

A sample from Facebook's 'On This Day' feature

Design for Your Audience

National Geographic for adults:

National Geographic for adults

National Geographic for kids:

National Geographic for kids

A Little History of Audience

Designers and their clients

The old printing press

Themes in History

Form and function

An example of a Bauhaus poster

Themes in History


The Bauhaus foundation course

Art Nouveau

Audience = people tired of industrialization

They tried to speak to their audience through more organic forms.

An example of Art NouveauAlphonse Mucha

Art Nouveau

An example of Art NouveauAlphonse Mucha


Audience = depends on function

Bauhaus began what was considered 'rational' design.

The Bauhaus School


Strong proponents of form follows function. The function was to communicate a message, so form should be as clear in communicating that as possible.

An example of a Bauhaus posterHerbert Bayer


Formalized design as a practice.

The Bauhaus foundation course

Understanding Media

To be a successful designer, you need to understand and be critical of the medium you are working with.

The Function of Print

Some questions:

  1. What do we use print for?
  2. How has it been used?
  3. How is it being used today?


Audience = the commoner

Art (or design) for social purposes.

A constructivist posterGustav Klutsis


The audience was often not very literate, so designs used forms and text together to clarify the message.

A constructivist posterAleksandr Rodchenko
Varvara Stepanova

Swiss Design

Audience = everyone

"Objective-rational design means legible design, objective information that is communicated without superlatives or emotional subjectivity."
Josef Muller-Brockmann
Josef Muller-Brockmann (Swiss design)

New York School

Audience = post-WWII

Bea Feitler
Jacqueline Casey
Paul Rand (New York School)
Carolyn Davidson

Modernism vs. Post-modernism

of post-modernism as a different way of seeing the world. It brought about:

  • A challenging of absolutes
  • Complexity in communication
  • Acceptance of diversity

Post Modernism

Audience = it depends...

** Some exceptions apply

David Carson
Paula Scher
Stefan Sagmeister
Anar Foundation "Only for Children"

Sketching Exercise

Find two examples of a design that you believe you are the intended audience of. Sketch out both those designs at a medium fidelity. For each of the sketches:

  • Identify what the design is (i.e. magazine, ad, etc).
  • Briefly describe the connotations of this design in a couple of words.
  • Briefly describe why you believe this ad to be targeted to you.

Next week is all about portfolio-ing.

Contacting Andrew

Your Lecturer

Reachable at:

  • Office hours — Mondays from 8:30-9:30am and Thursdays from 8:30-9:30am at the Surrey campus mezzanine.
  • ac.ufs@h_werdna