I recently finished reading “Don’t Make Me Think Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web (and Mobile) Usability" written by Steve Krug. Krug, a usability consultant, wrote the first edition of “Don’t Make Me Think” back in 2000. Obviously a lot has changed since then in reference to web design!

I found this book easy to read and felt it did provide a lot of useful information. The technical reader can use this book more as a reference guide and good ‘reminders” when thinking about usability. The non-technical reader will find this an easy read and gain some useful pointers when approaching a web project. Because it’s easy to read and not very technical, I can easily recommend this book to anyone regardless of their technical expertise.

Here are my top takeaways from this book: (not in any particular order)

1. Krug’s three facts of life:

  • We don’t read pages, we scan them.
  • We don’t make optimal choices, we satisfy.

  • We don’t figure out how things work, we muddle through.

2. Testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end. “A simple test early - while you still have time to use what you learn from it - is almost always more valuable than an elaborate test later.”

3. Good navigation on your site is extremely important. “People won’t use your Web site if they can’t find their way around in it.”

4. Three reasons why Krug loves tabs:

  • They’re self-evident.

  • They’re hard to miss. Tabs create an obvious division between navigation and content.

  • They’re slick. If done correctly, tabs can make a page more visually interesting.

5. For tabs to work, they have to create the visual illusion that the active tab is in front of the other tabs. To create this illusion, the active tab needs to be a different color or contrasting shade, and it has to physically connect with the space below it:

Bad. No connection.



Better. Connected, but no contrast.



Best. Connection to the page and good contrast.



6. When we create a site, our job is to get rid of the question marks. Buttons that aren’t obviously clickable are a turn off. Users shouldn’t have to devote any time to figure out whether things are clickable or not.

7. One rule to keep in mind: clarity trumps consistency. “If you can make something significantly clearer by making it slightly inconsistent, choose in favor of clarity.”

8. What’s the most important thing if I want to make sure my site or app is easy to use? A Web page should be self-evident, obvious, and self-explanatory. Don’t make me think!

Next up on my reading list: 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D.

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