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Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A…
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Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web… (edition 2014)

by Steve Krug

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206656,890 (4.09)3
Member:gregvogl
Title:Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter)
Authors:Steve Krug
Info:New Riders (2014), Edition: 3, Paperback, 216 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:computers, usability

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Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web (and Mobile) Usability by Steve Krug

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A great book to reread. It is a quick read, designed to be read on a longer flight on an airplane by the author, and it really helps reiterate the key points of user interface design.
  propellerHead | Aug 25, 2016 |
This was a good introduction into web usability. It was quick and easy to read because of Krug's casual tone and the concision. ( )
  robgg | Jan 27, 2016 |
A nice overview of basic usability principles for building user interfaces. The call for do-it-yourself user testing is extremely important, though ignored or unknown to many companies. The sense of humor is great and the advice is fairly actionable and easy to follow.

The only downside (and hence a 4 star rating) is that the book could use more real world examples. Seeing many more screenshots of websites that do something well, side by side with those that do it poorly--or better yet, examples of incrementally improving a single design based on user testing--would make the lessons much more sticky.


Fun quotes from the book:

It's not rocket surgery.

The actual Average User is kept in a hermetically sealed vault at the International Bureau of Standards in Geneva.

What they actually do most of the time (if we’re lucky) is glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. There are almost always large parts of the page that they don’t even look at. We’re thinking “great literature” (or at least “product brochure”), while the user’s reality is much closer to “billboard going by at 60 miles an hour.”

FACT OF LIFE #1: We don’t read pages. We scan them.

If your audience is going to act like you’re designing billboards, then design great billboards.

It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice. —KRUG’S SECOND LAW OF USABILITY

The main thing you need to know about instructions is that no one is going to read them.

I think every Web development team should spend one morning a month doing usability testing. In a morning, you can test three users, then debrief over lunch. That’s it. When you leave the debriefing, the team will have decided what you’re going to fix before the next round of testing, and you’ll be done with testing for the month.

Experts are rarely insulted by something that is clear enough for beginners.

People are just as likely to be using their mobile devices while sitting on the couch at home, and they want (and expect) to be able to do everything. Or at least, everybody wants to do some things, and if you add them all up it amounts to everything. ( )
  brikis98 | Nov 11, 2015 |
Review: http://jenny-arch.com/2015/02/26/dont-make-me-think-by-steve-krug/

This has been on my to-read list since grad school, and now there's a new edition.

The footnotes in Don't Make Me Think are as good as the parentheticals in The Princess Bride.

Quotes/Notes

Attributes of usability: useful, learnable, memorable, effective, efficient, desirable, delightful. (9)

Krug's definition of usability: A person of average (or even below average) ability and experience can figure out how to use the thing to accomplish something without it being more trouble than it's worth. (9)

Format text to support scanning: use plenty of headings, keep paragraphs short, use bulleted lists, highlight key terms. (39-41)

Navigation has important functions:
It tells us what's here ("Navigation reveals content!")
It tells us how to use the site
It gives us confidence in the people who built it (63)

Too-subtle visual clues are actually a very common problem. (78)

Good taglines are clear and informative; just long enough, but not too long (6-8 words); convey differentiation. According to Jakob Nielsen, "a really good tagline is on that no one else in the world could use except you." (96)

While the hype culture...is focused on making whatever promises are necessary to attract venture capital, revenue-generating deals, and users to the site, the burden of delivering on those promises lands on the shoulders of the craft culture artisans like the designers and developers. (107)

[exploding the myth of the average user] All web users are unique and all web use is basically idiosyncratic (108)

Where debates about what people like waste time and drain the team's energy, usability testing tends to defuse most arguments and break impasses by moving the discussion away from the realm of what's right or wrong and what people like or dislike and into the realm of what works or doesn't work. And by opening our eyes to just how varied users' motivations, perceptions, and responses are, testing makes it hard to keep thinking that all users are like us. (109)

Focus ruthlessly on fixing the most serious problems first. (138)
Keep a separate list of low-hanging fruit. (139)

[On accessibility] How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people's lives by doing our job a little better? It's the right thing to do. (175)

Your primary role should be to share what you know, not to tell people how things should be done. (187)

Usability is about serving people better by building better products. (188)

Recommended Resources:
Letting Go of the Words by Ginny Redish (41)
Twenty Questions online: http://20q.net/ (44)
Forms That Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability, Caroline Jarrett and Gerry Gaffney (46)
"Corporate Culture in Internet Time" by Art Kleiner: http://www.strategy-business.com/article/10374?_ref= (107)
Focus groups vs. usability testing video: http://someslightlyirregular.com/2011/08/you-say-potato/ (113)
How to Recruit Participants for Usability Studies, Nielsen, 2003: http://www.nngroup.com/reports/how-to-recruit-participants-usability-studies/ (121)
"Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites: Observing Users Who Work with Screen Readers," Ginny Redish and Mary Theofanos: http://www.redish.net/images/stories/PDF/InteractionsPaperAuthorsVer.pdf (179)
"Good UX equals good accessibility. Here's how to do both." A Web for Everyone, Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery (180) ( )
  JennyArch | Feb 11, 2015 |
This is a very impressive work - one gets the feeling that years of hands on practice have gone into the creation and refinement of material contained here. It is very snappy and generally makes for light reading, but the author manages to pack in a high volume of ideas and best practices related to online usability. The author's passion for the subject shines through, making it easier for the reader to absorb the content.

The book contains plenty of practical tips and considerations in topics such as navigation, headings and forms and has a big section on performing usability testing.

I would recommend this book to web developers (definitely those leaning towards front-end work) and designers of all levels.

The only issue I have with the book is that the edition that I have (the "revisited" one from 2014) could address more mobile specific topics (essentially there is only one chapter out of 13 dealing directly with mobile web usability). Although pretty much all ideas from "classical" web usability can be extrapolated to the mobile domain, the author could have tackled it more explicitly by adding more mobile-specific references along the way. ( )
  ilokhov | Jan 7, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0321965515, Paperback)

Since it was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug's guide to understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best loved and most recommended books on the subject. It's a core foundational book that every Web designer must internalize to make their designs truly effective.

In this substantially revised edition, Steve returns with fresh perspective to reconsider the principles he originally laid out--commenting, amending, amplifying, and offering fresh new examples to underscore their importance. This edition adds an important new chapter on mobile as well as integrating coverage of mobile throughout. It's a complete reimagining of the concepts that made this book an instant classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:53 -0400)

Hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug's guide to understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best loved and most recommended books on the subject. It's a core foundational book that every Web designer must internalize to make their designs truly effective. In this substantially revised edition, Steve returns with fresh perspective to reconsider the principles he originally laid out--commenting, amending, amplifying, and offering fresh new examples to underscore their importance. This edition adds an important new chapter on mobile as well as integrating coverage of mobile throughout.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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