Don't Make Me Think Revisited
By Steve Krug
*A Book Review*
by Michael C. Gray
© 2019 by Michael C. Gray
Have you ever gone to a web site looking for something, couldn't readily find it, and then left? This problem is made even greater when you are working with a small screen on a smart phone.
In many cases people are on a mission when they search the web. They are trying to get information or buy something to solve a problem. And they don't have much patience when it's hard to navigate a web site.
Steve Krug specializes in web site usability. In Don't Make Me Think, he shares many tips for making your web site more usable and to avoid discouraging customers and driving them off to look elsewhere to solve their problem. The original edition of the book was issued in 2000, and this updated "revisited" edition was issued in 2014. Notably, Steve Krug has included suggestions for making Web applications usable on smart phones.
A nice feature of the book is that it's a short one. He designed the book so that you can read it during an airplane flight.
According to Steve Krug, what users want when visiting a web site is "Don't make me think!" They want it to be as intuitive as possible to find what they are looking for. The web designer's objective should be to eliminate as many questions in the user's mind as possible when the user arrives at the page.
- Users expect to see the company information at the top of the page so they know they have arrived at a place they expected.
- Users expect to see some information about what the site is about so they know it's likely they can find what they're looking for at this site.
- Users expect to find a way to easily navigate to where to find what they're looking for, including having search available.
- Users appreciate it when there is help available from human beings on chat boxes and telephone customer service lines.
The web designer is challenged with the competing priorities of different stakeholders in the company about what to put on the landing page, which might be quite different from what the user is looking for.
The best example of a commercial home page is Amazon.com. They are a model for navigation. They do more business than anyone else online and have done extensive usability studies.
The ultimate test of usability that should be done before a site is "live" is to have people unfamiliar with the page use it. The designer or other company representative can ask them what they are thinking as they use the page. The screen can be shared and possibly recorded so that their successes and missteps can be observed.
Today, almost all businesses have a web presence and should be accessible for customers using smart phones. They will find Don't Make Me Think thought provoking and a worthwhile read.
Buy it on Amazon: Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter).
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