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Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Circle.Com Library) Paperback – 13 Oct 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (13 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789723107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789723109
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Steve Krug is a usability consultant who has more than 20 years of experience as a user advocate for companies like Apple, Netscape, AOL, Lexus, and others. Based in part on the success of his first book, Don't Make Me Think, he has become a highly sought-after speaker on usability design.

Product Description

Amazon Review

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.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Frank Carver VINE VOICE on 27 Oct. 2003
Format: 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 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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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Pavel Gokin on 25 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
What makes this book valuable:
- in-depth treatment of navigation design. The sections on tabs and breadcrumbs are especially excellent;
- great section on effective home page design. Get this book along with Nielsen's "Homepage Usability", and you're set in this department.
- wonderful primer on usability testing. If your web team is small, this could be all you need to get started with informal user testing. My own experience supports Steve's: you don't have to have Ph.D. in human factors to facilitate fruitful usability tests;
- last, but not least, the book is very easy to read due to its witty tone, short paragraphs, and tons of bullets.
One thing this book could do better:
- make the headings more informative, saving the witticisms for the body copy. This would have made it a quicker at-a-glance reference.
Conclusion:
The book scores a perfect 10 with its target audience: the designers, developers, project managers, producers, marketers, and those who "sign the check". Just buy it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Merja Ranta-aho on 21 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
I liked vey much this book's approach to page design - the home page, designing navigation, "billboard design". The style of the book is entertaining and easy to read, andthe insights are important.
I, though, disagree with Krug's view on not having to use actual users; it seems that what he has in mind is the situation of having to find some very-expert users and he suggests to use any, not-that-expert users instead. While this MAY be sometimes a good choice, it definitely is a bad mistake to think that you can substitute the average beginner-user (to whom your site would be designed to) with the easily-available conmputer expert next door. In any case, you should consider the situation where your test user shows you that the site just does not work - it is too difficult. Hand at heart: do you believe him or do you think secretly, that your REAL users would survive the site?
Therefore, Id recommend this book for anyone as the SECOND web usability book, after the reader has gained some perspective on user testing elsewhere.
I've used the book as reference and material on some web usability design basic courses, and the feedback has been very positive: not just theories but an elegant model of the user at work and simple but powerful design guidelines.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "rrronaldo" on 26 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
The title says it all. For the novice, or casual browser, you won't find a clearer, better written or more effective book.
For the experienced IA or designer, this is a tutorial in how to communicate your ideas.
Anybody who has even a passing interest in web design should buy this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a really refreshing book. Krug analyses web users' surfing habits with uncanny accuracy and points out things that are so obvious, they are so easy to disregard.
For once, this is a book that attempts to analyse great sites with minor flaws, rather than smugly 'putting the boot in' on poorly designed sites as other 'experts' often delight in.
As a Web Manager, this is a book that will be the cornerstone of subsequent projects our team take on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
Usability is a very simple, very complex subject that's clouded in argument and emotion. It is also the most important issue facing the development of the web.
It needs to be made accessible to the millions of practitioners trying to work out how to do good stuff.
"Don't Make Me Think" simply gets it absolutely right. I cannot recommend the book enough. It is simply written and deliciously presented, research evidence is relevant, succinct and interesting. It's a joy : )b
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Richard Leader VINE VOICE on 19 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a subject that is often preachy, dry and sometimes event pedantic in style, Krug's approach is a breath of fresh air.
The book is entertaining and informative at the same time - it uses lots of illustrations to make its point, and that point is dead simple - Don't Make Me Think!
Unfortunately, it is the user that shouldn't have to think - designers, architects, developers and content authors really do need to think hard about how to create websites for the audience. This book goes a long way to helping them.
I would recommend this book to anyone involved in website design (and indeed I have!).
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