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Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 489 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321344755
ISBN-10: 0321344758
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Krug is a usability consultant who has more than 15 years of experience as a user advocate for companies like Apple, Netscape, AOL, Lexus, and others. Based in part on the success of the first edition of Don’t Make Me Think, he has become a highly sought-after speaker on usability design.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2nd edition (August 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321344758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321344755
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When we design Web sites, we often overlook the simplest things because we're too wrapped up in the design. After working on Web sites for a while, some of us have slowly moved away from what we know is usable to adding or removing elements that may enhance the `look' - and also break a site's usability.

Steer back on track with the new edition of Krug's highly referenced book. Novice, intermediate, expert. No matter where you are on the scale, the book provides value to everyone - even managers, testers and project managers. Management likes to get their hands a little dirty when it comes to Web design projects and sharing this book may make the team's life easier.

Anyone involved with Web design or usability will recognize most, if not all, of the concepts covered in the book. What makes Don't Make Me Think usable is that it's a great checklist to ensure you've covered all the basics.

Krug provides many before and after examples to show how a few changes can enhance a Web site's usability. The illustrations reinforce the concepts covered as well as how visitors use and read a Web site.

As for the differences between the first and second editions, the second addition has three new chapters while usability testing shrinks from two chapters to one and with good reason.

The testing chapter breaks down the testing process into digestible steps; complete with a script between the tester (user) and the person watching the tester. Too often, we've seen testing get mangled or ignored. With this chapter, teams might find themselves empowered and eager to do testing.

The chapter on "Usability as common courtesy" explores how a site can make or break the "reservoir of goodwill" as Krug puts it.
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Format: Paperback
First off, let me preface this by admitting that I am not a web designer or information architect expert by any means. I work in tech being a "jack of all trades" with internet applications where we are always strapped for resources (ie we don't have designers or web producers for this side project, all those resources are devoted to the cash cow at our company). At some times I'm an acting site product manager other times I'm a product marketer.

Steve Krug distills "everything you need to know" into a short book that is written colloquially and deals with real-life web team scenarios, and gives some really simple exercises for reviewing a website.

I especially appreciate his beginning most chapters with a real-life example (ie a designer vs a developer disagreeing about the use of a pulldown menu). This shows me he's been in the trenches before, and keeps me interested in what his solution is.

His chapter on how to run usability tests on a shoestring budget will help not only me (who'll have to run the tests), but also will provide a lot of background on scenarios where usability efforts tend to not take off within a company. Additionally he provides solutions on how to mitigate these excuses -- he's about how to get things done, not about theorizing.

Thanks Steve - another new fan has joined the fold.
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Format: Paperback
The overriding theme to the book is that anything on your web page that takes more than a fraction of a second of thought is bad. When I worked at the Internal Revenue Service, we were never allowed to post anything that took less than a day of thought.

Sure - the topics in this book are obvious. There's nothing here you couldn't have figured out yourself if you took the time to do so. But that's the point - Krug took the time to assemble these obvious but numerous issues for you, so you don't have to think through all of the potential problems your web site is likely to have. IRONICALLY, THE REAL VALUE OF THIS BOOK IS NOT IN ANY BRILLIANT INSIGHTS. THE VALUE IS THAT YOU ARE FORCED TO STOP AND THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN WEB SITE AS YOU READ. That is, simply by taking the time to drift through this light read, you can't help but to ponder how your own web site suffers from each of Krug's common web page problems. You'll undoubtedly end up making a number of improvements to your own site. Krug's small suggested improvements taken collectively really do end up making a big difference to your site. I made at least ten changes to the web site that hawks my own cheesy book (Web Service and SOA Technologies) based on Krug's very good advice.

Weakness #1 - The book's pace slows down at the end. I can't help to wonder if Krug was a little concerned that he wasn't going to have enough pages. Do we really need an entire page that tells us that some people are naturally less patient than others? But even at his slower pace, there are still many sentences that make you think (errr....even if you're not supposed to).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not much too add beyond what many of the other reviewers have said, except that it was a real pleasure to read such an approachable book, and get so many good ideas in such a short amount of time. Note: this isn't a book about theory. It's about what works and doesn't work in practice and that's it. Krug gets right to the heart of the matter on every point. If you're looking for detailed discussions of web design techniques and why they're good or bad, this is not the right book for that.
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