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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.

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migrated from Mar 1 '12 at 23:57

This question came from our site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

@Ryan if you know of specific journal articles that might relate to this topic, check out this thread to potentially access them for free: – Jeff Mar 2 '12 at 3:40
I'm sorry to hear you didn't appreciate Josh's edit. He edited the question in lines with our faq in order to prevent it from being closed. List/poll type questions aren't considered to be constructive, which is why Josh edited your question into one concrete question. That's when it received up votes, otherwise it would have been closed. Your edit would force me to close this question. – Steven Jeuris Mar 2 '12 at 17:35
This topic has also been discussed on meta. I reread your original post, and I feel by narrowing down the scope of the original question enough it could be allowed to stay open. "I'm very interested in learning more about visual perception and how it pertains to graphic design and even spatial perception." Perhaps references on visual perception pertaining to graphics design isn't too broad of a scope. I would however drop at least spatial perception. Do you want me to roll back the question and close it, so you can try to improve it? – Steven Jeuris Mar 2 '12 at 17:40
I closed the question as "Not a real question": "It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form." You can still edit it to improve it, after which it could be reopened. – Steven Jeuris Mar 2 '12 at 18:17
up vote 7 down vote accepted

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!

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That link doesn't go anywhere? I tried at work the other day and just got around to trying at home thinking maybe its the old OS. Not sure why people are upvoting it unless I'm missing something. I looked around the site a bit and didn't find any open access articles. – Ryan Jun 20 '12 at 0:25
It was working before. I've changed it to a different link that works again now. – vizzero Jun 20 '12 at 9:21
Thanks I got it now. I'm going to mark this as an answer on Friday if user568458 doesn't post his/hers by then. Just want to give him/her a chance since s/he helped get the question reopened. And those books do look very good and as soon as I can afford to I plan to order them. – Ryan Jun 20 '12 at 15:53
Great, glad it's working! – vizzero Jun 20 '12 at 17:07

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.

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