- 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: 1,109 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,698 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
I have been in a position in corporate America to manage a corporate web site since December of 2006. After some precursory research on my favorite little book store: Amazon, I came up with Krug's web usabilty book on favorite listmania after favorite listmania. "Don't Make Me Think," made it on the top list for web designers, web page project managers, business owners, and average Joes and Jill like you and me. So I wanted to start my professional reading with a book that had some common collective wisdom behind it. Lo and behold, I was not disappointed.
Krug's book is probably best read through practice. I have already spouted off several of his principles at our weekly web page project meetings and I can tell folks are looking at me a little different these days. It could be because I'm going through my mid-life crisis and started wearing a goatee and using all this metero hair product, but I don't think that's the reason alone. I suspect it's because I scanned Krug's cartoons and sent them out to the members of our working group and executive council. I love the frame that has the project manager getting caught up in a web page design "religious debate," between a creative designer and a practical programmer with a thought bubble over her head saying, "I hate my life." Funny stuff. You'll have to read this book and sit through one of the web page design meetings to see its true truth and wisdom.
Though I've learned if you try to enact some of Krug's principles like having navigation tabs similar to those found on Amazon, you just may start some religious debates of your own. The book has a little something for everyone. For the web page design and management neophytes like myself, it has to be one of the best introductions to the ins and outs of what really works on web sites for engaging Internet users in such a way that keeps them coming back for more. For seasoned professionals in the industry, Krug's book will no doubt cause you to be challenged in your thinking, wrestle with how to gain control back from your overly-busy home page, and what can now be done with all that text you were stuffing your overly boring corporate site that no one really bothers to read.
For me the book started to drag with the two sections of web site testing. But, we recently stood up a new functionality feature that was in sore need of troubleshooting testing before pushing it live. Believe it or not, designers and ad agency managers don't catch very many mistakes before letting their clients view the page. So I found myself referring back to Krug's book to see how best to approach testing. As it turned out our work team, and some family members, caught the majority of the mistakes and folks were very happy with the final product. Another thing to watch out for is that Krug is giving advice based on what works best for the user of web page sites. Some of his advice is contrary to what I've experienced in my professional life in regards to search engine optimization. Krug says to cut out extraneous and unneeded text which is all fine and good for your web page readers, but will not get your page optimized (when a person types in keywords to yahoo or google...your page hitting the top of the search results list). So, just watch for that if you are more interested in people finding your web site vs. having an optimally pleasant experience once they get there.
So, Steve Krug is my new best friend and has helped me keep my job for another month. I think if you pick up a copy of, "Don't Make Me Think," you will be thinking Krug is your best friend too, with his egregious wit and practical knowledge of what works and doesn't on Internet web sites. He even does a minor overhaul of Amazon's site. You won't want to miss it. ...mmw
Over the years I have found myself frequently pushing the concepts with traditional application developers - because they definitely translate.
Lately I've realized that the usability expectations for all applications are set by the web and mobile application experiences because they dominate people's computer experiences now.
Web / mobile started out with the necessity of keeping things simple and concise due to API and device size limitations.
I think these constraints inadvertently has caused developers to stumble on the truth that has been there all along - technical people (I'm one) tend to make applications overly complex.
The same principle applies equally to applications as it does to websites and mobile - given two alternatives for the same basic work - the one that provides the least cognitive friction to "finding your way around" will always win. In training we call this "Cognitive Load Management"
As I type this review, I notice that a 3rd edition is available for pre-order. I will be checking that out, for sure.
Almost all of us have gone to a website that's hard to use or bought a product that required serious thinking to figure out how to use it. Krug uses plain language to describe how to make things easy to use, which makes life a lot easier for product users.
Toward the back of the book, there is some good advice on how to start doing your Usability Testing. However, you can safely ignore everything else -- page upon page of "improving" site usability did not age well. This book is best appreciated as pivotal historically, and recognized for its influence rather than its continuing relevance.
This book gives great examples of the dos and don’ts of web design. It provides great insight in a short amount of pages as to how you can make your website worth viewing.