Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability Paperback – Oct 13 2000
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Usability design is one of the most important though often least attractive tasks for a Web developer. In Don't Make Me Think, author Steve Krug lightens up the subject with good humour 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 within it 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. For example, "We don't read pages--we scan them" and, "We don't figure out how things work--we muddle through". Getting to grips with such hard facts sets the stage for Web design that then produces top-notch sites.
Using an attractive mix of full-colour 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 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
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, Krug deconstructs some of the sites we all know and use often, and he does so to help us see what we should be doing, as well as what we should not. I remember being especially impressed with his in-depth analysis of Amazon.com's navigation scheme (Chapter 6 - "Street Signs and Breadcrumbs"), from the use of tabs to the structure of the sub-navigation to color changes, he covers it all with a sense of humor, clear pictorial examples, a sharp eye for detail, and a clear concise explanation of what works and why. The reader is left with a greater understanding of not only why Amazon has been so successful, but also what choices they made that helped them find this solution.
The chapter on usability testing (Chapter 9 - "Usability Testing on 10 cents a day") was another fine example of clear communication and great ideas. Krug's breakdown of how the usability process should be conducted, and why it's needed in the first place, is concise and not preachy, as some usability authors are, and it really gives the reader an excellent idea of how they can fit usability into their process. This is probably the best way to "sell" usability to someone, and he does a great job of it.
The whole book is like that, really, but those chapters were highlights in the book for me.Read more ›
Secondly, the author is still stuck in largely tables-based HTML presentation methods. Usability means building a site that works on hand-held and telephonic devices as well as assistive interenet devices. This can be accomplished through XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. In fact, separating markup from presentation is a large part of what Mr. Krug should be discussing, but doesn't.
Thirdly, Mr. Krug's examples are of large, well-branded sites. That's fine, but his comments and suggestions seem best-suited to those sites, not small business or other small-site needs. This shows in his lack of information about designing pages that will expedite search engine effectiveness.Read more ›
This book takes you through every facet of usability and is as applicable to a single person with one site as it is to a multi-level corporation who owns 30 sites. His writing style is fun and humorous and the book is an easy read.
Mr. Krug has a writing style that matches my own: logical, easy to follow, and full of humor. Once I started reading, I simply couldn't put the book down.
This book gives a copious amount of information about the right ways and wrong ways to design a web site. Mr. Krug easily pairs this information with live examples of sites that are online, or intranet sites in which he played a part. Interjected in this valuable information are some of the funniest barbs, observations, and comments I've heard in quite some time.
Most of the concepts in this book are straight common sense. So common, in fact, that we tend to overlook them, and consequently violate the rules. Don't worry, Mr. Krug gently points them out to you with vivid pictures and diagrams, and has you laughing while he does it. He even has a name for his business that ties in to this common sense mentality. Read the book - you'll understand...and smile.
Want to know what billboards and roadsigns in Los Angeles and Boston have to do with web design? Read the book. You'll soon discover yourself critiqing road signs and such in the area of town you live. Department stores will become a library of examples on how to organize and display information. And you'll always, ALWAYS find yourself analyzing web sites that you already frequent, and pointing out what works and what could be improved upon.
One question: are you a scanner or reader? You'll find out once you read this book. And then you'll be amazed at the accuracy of what Mr. Krug has said and what you actually do when you're on the web.
Most recent customer reviews
This was the first book I read about ux and it made me become a UX designer! It's that goodPublished on Jan. 13 2013 by Vedge
Geez, I wish every web designer would read this book. Most websites are just terrible. It's true, who wants to think when they just want to find information or use a website. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2005
This book is a definite MUST HAVE for any website designer, newbie to web design and anyone and everyone who has an online business. Read morePublished on June 22 2004
Some products are hard to improve upon. For example, I believe cars will have 4 wheels for centuries to come despite the fact that it is possible to produce cars with 3 or 5... Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by mr_goodwill
This book is one of the most magnificently written books I've ever read. It's written in such an easy to understand way, and in simple terms so that EVERYONE can understand it! Read morePublished on June 13 2004 by Andrya L. Feinberg
I have been either programming or designing functionality for websites for almost 10 years. This book was the wake up call I needed. Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by Mike
I'll make it simple, like this book's title :)
1. GREAT BOOK! Worth to collect if you're someone involved in web design
2. Read more
I loved this book, it was simple to read, funny, and informative. Not only have I used it for my University degree, I've used the principles in my work too! Read morePublished on April 16 2004 by Kiera Scott
If you are just starting out on web usability - this book is a great jumpstart.
If you are only planning to buy one book on web usability, and don't know which one to get -... Read more
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