- Buy the UK edition of Don't Make Me Think!
Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Circle.Com Library) Paperback – 13 Oct 2000
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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
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.See all Product description
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READ THIS BOOK IF: you need quick tips for building a useful, functional website with clear copy. You run a business and are setting up a content team. You work in any department and wonder why you're at odds with the digital team.
I'm a content writer and this is a must-have for any - EVERY -digital media professional. Especially those of you having to regularly defend your decisions to a business that cares not for UX... guess that's all of you, then!
This book needs updating more often, but the fact that it can get away with a once-a-decade refresh shows that wisdom is timeless. It shows that the user-centred approach wins out over pure design and copy flights of fancy, and capricious business whims, every time.
If you produce any content or design that is seen by other people then you should read this book. Even if you're already doing half of what it suggests, there will still be something in it of value.
I can't believe I took so long to buy it!
A great buy though if you're a total beginner to this area and want to get clued up fast. Pretty concise and to-the-point stuff that's easy to digest.
When it comes to the web, first impressions count. Take Amazons new redesign for 2008. Amazon gets quite a lot of coverage in the book as an example of good design, so it's interesting that they have gone away from their old design, that's been around for about a decade. I don't like the new look, because every time I use it I have to think whereas before it was intuitive. That's the whole point of "dont make me think". You should never have to think about how to use a web site. If you need to use your brain to do something simple, the designer has FAILED.
"Dont make me think" is a quick and easy read. It's quite small at 200 pages. It's often reduced on Amazon so keep an eye out for a bargain.
Highly recommended for all developers, even if you don't often do user interfaces. The advice can be applied to all interfaces and not just the web.
This, and his other book - Rocket Surgery Made Easy - are valuable references for anyone interested in user interfaces and what makes a good one.
It makes a very simple point - by designing a web user interface that is logical, simple, clear, intuitive, helpful and robust, people will find them easier to use, have fewer problems, will need less documentation/help, will come back, and will have a positive view of you and your products.
It is so full of logic and startling truth, I found myself yelling "yeah!" a few times at what it had to say. To put it another way, if you think that it's focus on the obvious is, well, all too obvious for you to have not already noticed, then think again!
If there is one book I would impore developers to read (no matter what software they develop) it would be this. It should be mandatory reading.
Despite of the old version of the book, this book is amazing. If everybody read it once, sucking powerpoint presentation, unwatchable websites and unusable objects would disappear from earth!
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