Scholarsteve’s Blog

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Don’t Make Me Think

In the future I’ll be starting my posts on books off with their citation. This is just a good way for me to be lazy and have everything already taken care of when it comes time to assemble a works cited page. I’ll probbaly also put the readings list in citation form come to think of it.

I spent a part of my winter break reading Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think.” I read the first edition of this title when I originally took Hypertext, but felt that it would be good to read again as a refresher on what to think about as I analyze the Web and to see what kind of new content he added. Unfortunately, one of the big changes was that he removed three chapters on usability testing. I was especially looking forward to looking back on theses chapters as one of my projects will focus quite a bit on usability testing. Fortunately these chapters as well as feed of a real usability test are featured on his Web site: http://www.sensible.com. I’ll be looking at this later as a resource to draw on when I do my own testing.

The title of the book is serves as Krug’s credo for Web design. He shows how seemingly miniscule distractions can snowball into an all-around unpleasant user experience. A good amount of space in his book is spent on the experience from the user’s point of view. As a designer it can be easy to become lost in the project. What may make sense to a designer after looking at the site for hours may be unintelligible for the user. Basically, Krug stresses that information in a site should be easily accessible and interpreted by users.

I think what I find most interesting about Krug is that through usability testing he shows us things in design that we might not consider. He stresses that unlike a print publication or anything of the sort, there is rarely a sense of our surroundings when we are on a Web site. How deep am I in the site? How deep does it go? Without an effective navigation and search tools, users become lost and frustrated. Structure and hierarchy in well though out site will bring users back again and again.

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January 7, 2009 - Posted by | Don't Make me Think

1 Comment »

  1. Steve–

    Don’t tell me you sold your copy of Krug first edition? Give some more thought to Don’t make me think means. In fact add Selfe and Selfe’s article about interface to your reading list.

    Many people are rightly critical of invisible interfaces because they hide political assumptions. They want you to look at rather than look through the interface. How do you reconcile this view with Krug?

    Comment by Jim Kalmbach | February 3, 2009 | Reply


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