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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Web Usability
If there's a book to use when introducing someone to the ideas of usability on the Web, I'd have to say that I think this is it. Not Nielsen, and not Cooper (at least not to start with). Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" has the most no-nonsense and easy-to-follow approach I think I've ever seen, and best of all, he makes SENSE.

First of all, Krug...
Published on June 23 2004 by Rich Stoehr

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading But Has Serious Flaws
Mr. Krug thoughtfully points out usability issues that every web developer should be aware of, and his points are well-considered ones. But there are some serious flaws. To begin with is his definition of "usability" -- usability for whom? Mr. Krug completely ignores web accessibility issues for persons with disabilities. The web-viewing public he is concerned with have...
Published on Oct. 31 2002 by Robert Roberts


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5.0 out of 5 stars A book of common sense you can't put down!!!, Sept. 17 2003
By 
A. Quintero (PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
I thought this book was not going to have much information because of its small size but, I bought it because the reviews from other readers convinced me. Boy, am I glad that they did. I opened this book at 10pm and did not put it down until I was too tired to stay up anymore (1 am) I had to get up for work the next day at 6:30am (I live far from work, that's why). If not for work, I would probably have read the whole book that night.
I bought this book because I was tasked in building an intranet at work. I knew HTML and scripting but was not keen on usability. I wanted the intranet to be useful and to keep the users coming back for it's ease of use. After reading a few chapters Steve Krug has taught me to look at my intranet development with a common sense view and not a technical view where I wanted to fill pages with features and clutter. Most users want the information they are looking for right in front of them and not have to think and analyze the information. Simplicity for them and ease of development for me, a win-win situation! This is a small book with a gigantic message that will help you look through the eyes and thoughts of the user and will teach you how your sites will be used by them. This is a great book and it is a must have if you are developing internet/intranet sites. Especially, if you are a newbee to web design like me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short and effective, makes a powerful point, Aug. 10 2003
This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
At last, an author who follows his own advice! This book is short and easy to read (at 200 pages, I read it in a day), but surprisingly deep. The book is peppered with colour screenshots, black and white cartoons and pithy quotes and headings. A pleasure, not a chore, to read.
The basic premise is simple; people don't like hard choices or stopping to think, they just want to get something done. The more self-evident a web site is, the easier it is to use. Implementing it, and being sure you've got it right, is tricky, though. Krug covers site and page layout, navigation design, usability testing on a shoestring as well as a broad and engaging model of how people really use the web.
It doesn't deal with internationalization at all, seems to assume a mostly static site, and offers no real help in getting your idea to the web in the first place, but will certainly help you make good choices along the way. Well worth a read, and probably worth a refresher each time you start a new project to keep you on track.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be a more perfect name for this book, July 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
What a refreshing change. A computer book that won't break my foot if I drop it. Just like Krug's usability concepts, the book doesn't contain the filler of other computer books. It just gets right to the point.
Brilliant use of common sense which is in very short supply in the Web design world. If a designer followed this book alone they would develop sites that are more usable than 99% of the sites out there. Krug's approach is nothing more than finding the best ways to satisfy the users' request of "don't make me think". When we read one magazine then pick up another we don't have to learn how to read that second magazine. There are commonalities and guides that all magazines share. Same with newspapers, store layouts, automobile controls, etc. Krug points out the common sense approach that Websites should use to attain that same level of thoughtlessness.
As they say, if you're going to buy just one book on usability, buy this one. Then check out the two Jakob Nielsen books too, as well as the O'Reilly book on Information Architecture.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful and very usable book . . ., May 25 2003
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This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
The only website design I've done is for two sites of my own (one small-business, one for hobbies and such), plus family-photo-type sites for a couple for family members. (The fact that I learned to do this stuff in late middle age seems to astonish people, especially those much younger than me.) But I'm a heavy web-surfer and I'm always interested in design issues generally. Krug has a knack for pointing out things that seem obvious in retrospect, and the wit to keep your attention even while you're making mental notes. He takes you through the process of figuring out what people want in a website -- and then discovering what they *really* want -- but he doesn't take sides in religious arguments (pull-downs, Flash, top vs. side navigation bars). Rather, he describes to look at the possibilities and discover what works best when. The book itself is also very "usable" -- short enough to read on a plane trip, filled with real world examples, amusingly but helpfully illustrated. And I already have a list of changes I plan to make to my own little covey of websites.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any developer, newbie or veteran, May 22 2003
By 
Frank Hurt (North Dakota, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
I have been developing websites professionally for four years now, and have thumbed through quite a collection of references on usability and "good design". None of them come close to matching Mr. Krug's message of a simple common sense approach.
It's easy for us to get too close to our work and lose sight of the fact that 85% of the site's visitors will be brand new to it, and will leave as quickly as they arrived if they cannot find what they want right away. Mr. Krug does a fantastic job at providing examples and melds that with his extensive experience in the field of usability and mixes in a healthy dose of wit to make it go down nice and smoothly.
It reads pretty quickly and to-the-point, which is very important for those of us who want to get back to work and apply this newfound knowledge. Brevity seems to be all too uncommon in technical books, and yet that is where it is most appreciated!
So yes, much of what he writes may be common-sensical in retrospect, but at the same time it is highly relevant, as we all tend to forget what it was like to be a 'net newbie from time to time, and it is nice to be reminded.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Effective and immediately useful, Feb. 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
My situation: I'm a strong OO server-side developer who has suddenly been thrust into the presentation world of web site development. On all past projects, I've always had specialists on hand to deal with web site design and usability. Now I have to do everything (front-to-back) myself. I needed resources to get me up to speed quickly. This book has certainly fits the bill!
Lets face it, in today's world where we all have to do more with less (in less time), we don't have time to research all we'd like about web usability. Per Krug's 3rd law of usability ("Omit (needless) words"), he's done a fantastic job of doing just that with this book. If you want "the bullet" on good design and usability, this is an exceptional read. There is very little fluff and lots of tangible "meat" to this book.
I found the chapters on how people use the web and how to write for the web especially useful. He brings to light many design techniques I've encountered (as a web user), but I never realized the principles on which they were based. The home page chapter did a great job of highlighting some of the cultural/political challenges assoicated with home page design, as well as the laying out unique design constraints of the home page.
Many technical design books (I've read) do a good job of presenting practical design techniques, but leave it up to the reader to figure out what the underlying design principles are. This makes it difficult to customize techniques unless you understand the principles. I walked away with a good understanding of the general principles, as well as some techniques for designing usable web sites. For me (a top-down kind of learner), this was extremely useful.
While this book is not the be-all, end-all solution, its a great jump-start to web design and usability. It's extremely practical, uses solid real-world examples to illustrate both good and not-so-good designs, and Krug manages to interject some humor throughout.
After reading this, you'll never look at web pages the same way again!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for students and other newbies., Jan. 30 2003
By 
F. Levine (MD, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
Since there are already some highly detailed reviews of this book, I'd like to touch on how I am using this book to teach others.
Being short, amusing, and full of relevant illustrations, this is an excellent text for those who are visual thinkers, don't have much time, or aren't techically inclined. I certainly wouldn't want to give a new student or a non-technical project stakeholder a copy of Jakob Nielsen's book to introduce them to usability. I have assigned this book in a 200-level web design class I am teaching. It touches on a little bit of everything, including writing for the web--something which many designers have been roped into doing during some emergency or other. Krug gives a new web designer a lot to think about, and helps them understand that web design is more than the visuals.
There are two particularly useful parts of the book: one is the template provided showing how to conduct a usability test (though the work the Summers are doing for their forthcoming book will be on a more professional and complete level), and the other is chapter 6, on navigation, which features not only great information, but also visual exercises with before-and-after results.
Yes, there are more in-depth books out there, but this is a great place to start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Your Site Will Improve After Reading This Book, Nov. 28 2002
By 
Keith Streckenbach (Madison, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
Are you responsible for your site's "ease-of-use?" Yes - then you must get this book! Unless you already paid thousands of dollars (and I mean thousands!!!) to the author to consult you and your team on improving your site's perfomance. If so, well you already got everything that's in this book. And I bet your site is so easy and intuitive to use. That is provided you implemented the advice.
You'll laugh, smirk and "aha" your way through this book. The author uses humour throughout the book. Unlike most other web site improvement books, Krug wrote his book with just a few examples - but every one hits a home run and can be implemented. His expertise is based on years of tested trial and error and for the most part common sense. But, it's the kind of common sense that you need someone else to point out.
We've implemented many of teh suggestions Krug details in the book. We've seen increases in site usage and positive feedback from site users. I feel that his principles go beyond site design though...the underlying principle of making it easy for people to interact with your site is applicable to any dialogue between a person and any product, service, or person.
In short, you're bound to read this book cover to cover and then rave about it. And, implement some of teh pratcical and "aha" improvements to your site...to make sure that your site visitors don't have to think.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 200 pages of Common Sense, with Illustrations, Aug. 31 2002
By 
"dgrounds" (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
Steve Krug's book is full of common sense for designers, managers and webmasters who will be responsible for designing and implementing an easy-to-use site. There's not a ton of information here, no "two thousand rules of web design", but rather a few very well-explained rules that when applied consistently should result in sites that are easier to use. Rule #1 is "Don't Make Me Think." The author also reinforces some common sense rules like "don't break convention unless you know why you're doing it." He also uses good examples to illustrate his writing, and point the reader in the right direction.
On the other hand, you will need to extend the information here with more solid information. Mr. Krug talks about how important white space really is, but there's no indication of "how much" white space is good, or "how to identify a convention". There is no methodology behind the common sense, so you'll need to create your own.
You can get through this book very quickly, and for those that make their living designing websites, I thoroughly recommend it. Although it won't serve as a reference manual, I think if it were read once a year by site designers, my life on the Internet would be oh-so-much-easier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts through the clutter with practical advice, Aug. 29 2002
This review is from: Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Paperback)
We've all see examples of good web design and of bad design. For a while it was everyone with a computer had a web site, so we were sick of the flashing doodads and the moving pictures. Now it's time to settle down to serious business.
Krug takes us through basic lessons on web design for usability in easy to digest and follow examples. Short chapters and extensive graphics of examples drive his point home in plain language. The book is not about the code - it's about what the user sees and how he or she navigates and operates. His lessons are no-nonsense and should be shouted from the highest mountain. Quick load, thought out arrangement of items, don't make the user think. His "secrets" are so obvious, they just get lost sometimes in the flash (and the Macromedia Flash).
Reading this book is an investment of a couple of hours that will help you look at web sites in a new light. If you have a web site you can't help but think about how your site stacks up to examples. It doesn't hurt either that he so extensively uses Amazon as an example.
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Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug (Paperback - Oct. 13 2000)
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