- Paperback: 195 pages
- Publisher: New Riders Publishing; 1st edition (October 23, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0789723107
- ISBN-13: 978-0789723109
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1,108 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability 1st Edition
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Usability design is one of the most important--yet often least attractive--tasks for a Web developer. In Don't Make Me Think, author Steve Krug lightens up the subject with good humor and excellent, to-the-point examples.
The title of the book is its chief personal design premise. All of the tips, techniques, and examples presented revolve around users being able to surf merrily through a well-designed site with minimal cognitive strain. Readers will quickly come to agree with many of the book's assumptions, such as "We don't read pages--we scan them" and "We don't figure out how things work--we muddle through." Coming to grips with such hard facts sets the stage for Web design that then produces topnotch sites.
Using an attractive mix of full-color screen shots, cute cartoons and diagrams, and informative sidebars, the book keeps your attention and drives home some crucial points. Much of the content is devoted to proper use of conventions and content layout, and the "before and after" examples are superb. Topics such as the wise use of rollovers and usability testing are covered using a consistently practical approach.
This is the type of book you can blow through in a couple of evenings. But despite its conciseness, it will give you an expert's ability to judge Web design. You'll never form a first impression of a site in the same way again. --Stephen W. Plain
- User patterns
- Designing for scanning
- Wise use of copy
- Navigation design
- Home page layout
- Usability testing
From the Author
Even if every Web site could afford a usability expert (which they can't), there just aren't enough of us to go around. So I tried to boil down what I've learned over the years (principles like "Don't make me think" and "Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left") into a short, profusely illustrated book--one that even the guy who signs the checks (the one who looks at the site when it's ready to launch and says "I hate green. And there should be more big pictures.") might read.
Top customer reviews
It's a refreshing reminder of staying focused on the reader.
Steve Krug's book is all about taking a common sense approach to web development, especially usability. He wrote that there's no such thing as an average user, everyone is different. So, as you can imagine, developing great websites that appeal to most people is almost like climbing Mt Everest wearing sneakers. It's a lot harder than it looks.
Mr. Krug has created an easy to read, conversational guide on what usually works in attracting visitors to a website, and to keep them returning. He points out some of the pitfalls, like how everyone wants to get their finger in the pie of the Home page, to the point where it could become bloated and useless.
Heard of 'Street Signs' and 'Breadcrumbs'? You will when you get to the part about making sure visitors know where they are and where they're going on a website. As much as people hate getting lost in a shopping mall, the same is true on the web.
There's also a substantive section on usability testing. How important it is, but also how it's not necessary to go overboard with it as well.
While it doesn't take long to get through this book, which happens to include useful illustrations and cartoons, you do learn a lot of things in this bestseller.
The idea behind usability is simple: Look at a given design and see how accessible it is for users. Anyone can have an opinion on usability and everyone can provide input. All it takes is a clear head and the patience to look at what works (or doesn't) and why. If you use it, you have information about its usability. To get back to the subjects of Computer Science and technology, usability has lately been applied to the world of Web design.
Usability consultant Steve Krug lays out all of the basics about Web usability in his book Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability currently in its second edition, published in 2006 after the first edition sold nearly 100,000 copies.
As far as titles go, there are few that offer as clear a picture of the book's content as this one. Krug's main point throughout his 185-page guide is that good Web sites don't make users think. Unlike college, Krug posits that using a conventional website should not be an intellectual exercise. It should be simple, it should be neat, and it should be self-evident. In other words, if a user cannot identify the site's purpose, and where to start on said site, just by viewing the homepage something has gone horribly wrong.
Krug details how to fix such problems and how to avoid them with usability tests. That may sound self-serving save for the fact that Krug also explains how to conduct usability tests on the cheap without the benefit of a usability consultant such as himself.
Written in short chapters packed with illustrations, this book is designed to be approachable and easy to read. Krug is serious about Web usability, but that in no way means his book is stodgy or dry. Examples of usability at work are littered with cartoons and the text maintains a sense of humor. My favorite chapter title (and subtitle) "Usability as common courtesy: Why your Web site should be a mensch" might offer some idea of what tone to expect from this book.
Of course, taking a computer class to meet a core requirement in college doesn't always lead to work in the field of Web design in fact most of the time it leads to an entirely different career. But, in today's technology-driven culture, doesn't everything come back to the Internet eventually?
It might just be working as an intern at an online magazine, or a starting position where duties include entering data into online spreadsheets, or it might just be writing your own blog on a site like WordPress or Blogger. Wherever your path leads, knowing something about Web usability and how good Web sites get that way can only help. As more and more information moves to cyberspace, with websites being created and updated all the time, it's important to be prepared by knowing how to analyze not only the information found online but also how it is presented. Don't Make Me Think is one tool that can assist Web users in that preparation.
Most recent customer reviews
Not informative at all for those who had dealt with design and development at some point.