Life and Death Design Cover

Life and Death Design

What Life-Saving Technologies Can Teach Everyday Designers

By Katie Swindler

To be published: 2021

Stress changes the human brain, enhancing some abilities and degrading others. In some of the most dangerous industries, creators of life-saving products have discovered how to leverage brain science and smart design to harness good instincts while reducing panic and aggression. They use human-centered design to help their users land airplanes, avoid car crashes, resuscitate heart attack victims, and escape burning buildings. Apply their techniques to your work in any field to create clear, intuitive experiences that effectively guide the behavior of your users, no matter their state of mind.


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Designer’s Guide to The Human Stress Response
Chapter 2: The Startle Reflex: Designing for Jerks
Chapter 3: Intuitive Assessment: Shaping Snap Judgements and Good Instincts
Chapter 4: Fight, Flight or Freeze: Getting Users Through a Total Freak Out
Chapter 5: Reasoned Reaction: Helping Users Think Straight in a Crisis
Chapter 6: Recovery: Coming Down from the Adrenalin High
Chapter 7: Chronic Stress: Fixing Alarms and Other Stressful Designs
Chapter 8: Distraction: Keeping Users from Being Bored to Death
Chapter 9: Coda: The Moments They Need Us Most