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Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Circle.Com Library) [Paperback]

Steve Krug
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Voices That Matter) Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Voices That Matter) 4.8 out of 5 stars (13)
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Book Description

13 Oct 2000 Circle.Com Library

People won't use your web site if they can't find their way around it. Whether you call it usability, ease-of-use, or just good design, companies staking their fortunes and their futures on their Web sites are starting to recognize that it's a bottom-line issue. In Don't Make Me Think, usability expert Steve Krug distills his years of experience and observation into clear, practical--and often amusing--common sense advice for the people in the trenches (the designers, programmers, writers, editors, and Webmasters), the people who tell them what to do (project managers, business planners, and marketing people), and even the people who sign the checks.

Krug's clearly explained, easily absorbed principles will help you sleep better at night knowing that all the hard work going into your site is producing something that people will actually want to use.

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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: 22.6 x 17.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,256 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and effective, makes a powerful point 27 Oct 2003
By Frank Carver VINE VOICE
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
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.
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, practical advice on web page design 21 Jun 2001
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the topic I have ever read 26 Aug 2003
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 30 Nov 2001
By A Customer
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Web Usability that I have read. 19 Mar 2002
By Richard Leader VINE VOICE
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not in promised condition
The book came pretty fast and it's not like it's unreadable but the seller claimed the book was in 'Very good' condition. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Em
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't make me think Review
This book is brilliantly written, funny and tells you everything you need to know about the thinking behind creating usable, efficient websites. Read more
Published on 24 July 2009 by Vincent Sneed
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but sweet
Made me think! No ego trip, we can all use the basics sometime, this is basic stuff we all know, but need to rehear sometime.
Published on 10 Feb 2005 by S. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Make Me Think!
I normally find reading a book straight through almost impossible to do. I read Steve Krug's book straight through which I think shows how good he is at what he does (especially... Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2004 by Martin Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The best book available.
Before I read this book my websites where overcrowded & overcomplicated. Now a braindead chimp could use them. Read more
Published on 13 May 2003 by "areatradebrad"
5.0 out of 5 stars Good one for e-commerce and e-info.
Its chatty, anecdotal and practical style never strays from the point. The result is a smart run through the basic rules of presenting information, choices and navigation on the... Read more
Published on 15 April 2003 by MR N P E Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Good one for e-commerce and e-info.
Its chatty, anecdotal and practical style never strays from the point. The result is a smart run through the basic rules of presenting information, choices and navigation on the... Read more
Published on 15 April 2003 by MR N P E Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for (almost) anybody working with web sites.
A really good book about WEB-DESIGN, NAVIGATION and a lot more. Both practical and theoretical while still being light-reading and PROPERLY ILLUSTRATED with plenty of REAL... Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2003 by Stiafen Loringett
5.0 out of 5 stars A must to read
This is first time I have ever written a review on Amazon. But this book is a must for anybody that wants to really understand what makes web sites work (or not). Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2002 by Mr R Stroud
3.0 out of 5 stars a bed time read - not a cherished reference
Since the inception of the internet there have been a plethora of usability experts, many of whom have published books offering usability advice, Mr Krug is one such expert. Read more
Published on 25 April 2002
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