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Paperback Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability Book

ISBN: 0789723107

ISBN13: 9780789723109

Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

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5 ratings

The farmer and the cowman should be friends.

This book walks it's talk. It is written and arranged exactly as a useable web site should be, clear and concise, with scannable (as well as enjoyable) text. The clean attractive design and graphics accurately and efficiently illustrate the text, which is easy to read and to understand. I love the use of cartoon people with thought balloons to suggest how people think while using a web site.There is no clutter of technical gibberish or endless verbose rambling on statistics. The chapter on usability testing takes us step by step through the process and is descriptive and instructional instead of theoretical. Steve Krug doesn't feel he has to sacrifice creativity, visual interest, individuality, or effective advertising in order to develop a usable web site. "Good tag lines are personable, lively, and sometimes clever. Clever is good, but only if the cleverness helps convey - not obscure - the message." I can't agree with those who dismiss this book as nothing but common sense. While I see nothing wrong with publishing a reference and instructional manual that is full of common sense, this book also presents the reasoning behind every method that is suggested. The clashes between designers, programmers, and advertisers are explored and addressed. While I agree that the simple and obvious conclusion is that the focus should be on the user, it is refreshing and helpful to find a book which distills information from all of the varied and opposing developer viewpoints, and applies to them to that end. The book is, after all, subtitled "A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability." Also, like most common sense, it isn't really so obvious until after someone has pointed it out to you.Here are a few things you won't find in this book, which makes it all the more effective and convincing. You won't find anything that claims this is the "right" way to design web sites. There will be no discussion of business models or predictions for the future of the web. The best omission of all is that there is no bad mouthing of poorly designed sites. According to Steve Krug "Designing, building, and maintaining a great web site isn't easy. It's like golf: a handful of ways to get the ball in the hole, a million ways not to. Anyone who gets it half right has my admiration." This book gets it more than half right.

Common Sense Usability

A practical Web design usability guide, "Don't Make Me Think!" is based on empirical observation not exhaustive statistics. Steve Krug's five years of usability consulting and testing are distilled down to this thin yet gem-filled how-to. Krug observed how people actually use the Web rather than how we *think* they use it, gleaning key usability guidelines. Most folks can't afford a full-blown usability consult, but they can afford to buy a $35 book. This book shows you how to conduct your own usability tests on the cheap. What follows is a summary of the book's major rules and observations:1. Don't Make Me Think!The number one usability rule, most often expresed by users. Web pages should be self-evident, obvious, and self-explanatory. Buttons should have short text and look clickable. The default search for your site should be simple.2. Design for scanning not readingBy observing users Krug found that people glance, scan some text, and click on the first reasonable option (called "satisficing"). People scan Web pages, they don't read them. We don't make optimal choices, we satisfice.Here are some things you can do to make sure users understand as much of your site as possible:a. Create a clear visual hierarchy to show relative importance of content (H1/H2 etc.) b. Take advantage of conventions c. Break pages up into clearly defined areas d. Make it obvious what's clickable e. Minimize noise 3. Users like mindless choicesMake each click an unambiguous orthogonal alternative.4. Omit needless wordsGet rid of half of the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left. This is especially important on home pages andgateway pages.5. Navigation: Use street signs and breadcrumbsFactoid: The back button accounts for 30 to 40 percent of all Web clicks. Persistent navigation appears on every page of the site and should include the following five elements:a. Site ID b. A way home c. Search d. Sections e. Utilities Your navigation should answer these questions:a. What site is this? b. What page am I on? c. What are the major sections of this site? d. What are my options at this level? e. Where am my in the scheme of things? f. How can I search? 6. Your home page should convey the big pictureWhat is the site about? Use a good short tag line and welcome blurb. Rotate site promotions. Remove everything nonessential.7. Most Web design usability arguments are waste of timeThese "religious debates" consist of people expressing strongly held personal beliefs about things that can't be proven. All Web users are unique. There are no average users. There are no simple "right" answers for most Web design questions. What works is good integrated design that fills a need, that's carefully thought out, well executed, and tested.The antidote for religious debate is to ask specific questions and test with real users. The last three chapters of the book show how to perform testing on the cheap with three or four users. I really enjoyed this book, especially Krug's e

Web Designers, Read This

"Don't Make Me Think" is incredibly clear, concise, and helpful - as well as surprisingly enjoyable. Every web designer or developer should read it and take its message to heart. I develop web sites at an e-business solutions provider, and these are the kind of issues I tackle every day. I am reading three industry-related books and ten industry-related magazines on any given day, and I managed to make it through this book in lightning speed. Kudos to author and editors for creating such an easy-to-swallow dose of usability advice, and for adding excellent sprinkles on top in the form of good-natured humor throughout and a resource section at the end.Web design is a young field, and because of that, many people who design web sites today have no formal training in web or interface design. A background in print design or technology is a great start, but not sufficient when it comes to creating a usable web site. It is crucial to take usability into account when creating a site that you want people to interact with - ESPECIALLY when you want people to buy something from your site.This book provides a terrific outline of usability issues, as well as a look into usability testing, in a very accessible and encouraging manner. Anyone involved in designing or developing web sites can benefit from it. Especially if you have never conducted a usability test and don't realize how average people (ie, non-web-savvies) interact with a web site - this book will open your eyes to some vital information which will help you create better, more usable sites.

This is how it should be done

The "show me" what you mean book of web usability review. I particularly like the common sense handling of the main web problems.Some of the key things that are pointed out in this book are:1. Don't make me think: Basically the web user does not want to venture into a site that requires them to figure it out. It should be self-evident. How do we use web pages: a. We don't read pages, we scan them b. We don't make optimal choices, we satisfice c. We don't figure out, how things work, we muddle through2. It doesn't matter how many times I click as long as each click is a mindless unambiguous choice3. Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left.The first 5 chapters clearly illustrate the three "Krug's Laws of Usability" listed above with lots of pictures and examples. Well done.His chapters on navigation and finding your way around are a cookbook on how to do it right. He finishes the chapters with several examples, first asking the reader to look at the examples and then discusses how he feels it should be redone. Excellent teaching tool. Similarly, he broaches the topic of the Home page and how it should be structured and the various forces pulling in different directions. The examples he gives at the end here too are a good teaching tool.The remainder of the book discusses the design processes and the usability tests. These are excellent chapters in the forces at work and it is evident, he has done this many times from the information he has gathered. He provides specific suggestions for web usability testing for various stages of sites as well as for various problems. This is wonderful guidance if you are new at this. He also provides a guideline on scripting and report writing. Nice job.He winds up the book with recommended reading and also providing a website for readers of this book: http://www.circle.com/krugbook/

This book earns its credible reviews

As a web designer that owns my own domain, I had purchased Jakob Nielsens Wed Design Usability book and loved it. I thought nothing could top it, but then I was in a book store and picked Don't Make Me Think up. It had some high-power reviews of the book on that back cover. When I opened this book up, I understood why. This book talks about Web Design as and ways to understand why a site needs to be design to the specific user the designer has in mind. Highly respect design expert Roger Black writes the forward. I remember buying a book of his years ago called Websites That Work. While a beautiful book, it was before its time and lacking what Krug has written into this book. I'd recommend this to anyone who has purchased Nielsen's book. It refreshing that there is actually credible suggestion out there.
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