Review of Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web UsabilityDon’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really don’t remember when was the last time I read a book in a day. The author himself suggests that this is a book for one long flight. It’s true. I would absolutely agree.

I had borrowed a copy of a book from a college at my work a few years ago. I have to say the second edition of the book was worth buying. Everybody involved in creating web pages and other user interfaces should gain a lot by only reading this book.

What have I learned? Web pages should be at least self-explanatory if not already self-evident. I agree still in 2010, that there are plenty of web users who still type a site’s entire URL in the Google search box (or as Krug claims in Yahoo’s). In designing a web page one should think like designing great billboards. You should make it obvious what is clickable. There is no smart answer to the dilemma of wide versus deep site hierarchies. And yes, web navigation better is good. Krug is a fan of tabs. Interesting. Usually, the interface problem is just a reflection of a deeper and harder-to-solve dilemma. The mission of an organisation online is not the same as its corporation or brand mission offline. All Web use is basically idiosyncratic.

One of the things I liked the most was the proposal of the Lost-our-lease testing. I surely hope that at my company we are going to try it out very soon. One funny thing I am going to remember is that FAQs are not QWWPWA (Questions we wish people would ask). It’s useful to know, in the USA there are Section 508 of the 1988 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, specifying accessibility standards for IT (and therefore web pages too).

Other books/articles that the author recommends and I have to put on my to-read list is from Gary Klein: Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions and from Mary Theofanos & Janice Redish: Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites: Observing Users Who Work with Screen Readers.

Yes, actually I learned some other details too but this should be enough for you to decide whether to read this book.

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