Christina’s Review: Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug


Don’t Make Me Thing: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

Published: 2006 by New RidersDont make me think
Format/Source: Purchased paperback
Edition: Second Edition
Genre: Nonfiction, Web Design
Pages: 201

Synopsis:

Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it’s hard to imagine anyone working in Web design who hasn’t read Steve Krug’s “instant classic” on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, Steve adds three new chapters in the same style as the original: wry and entertaining, yet loaded with insights and practical advice for novice and veteran alike. Don’t be surprised if it completely changes the way you think about Web design. With these three new chapters:
Usability as common courtesy — Why people really leave Web sites Web Accessibility, CSS, and you — Making sites usable and accessible Help! My boss wants me to ______. — Surviving executive design whims
“I thought usability was the enemy of design until I read the first edition of this book. Don’t Make Me Think! showed me how to put myself in the position of the person who uses my site. After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book.

Review:

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Are you interested in building your own website? Do you have a blog and are looking for tips to help spruce it up? This is the book for you…

Steve Krug’s book Don’t Make Me Think is one of those books I intend to keep on my book shelf and in easy reach from a computer. It’s an excellent source for planning and designing of a website, whether it is for work or leisure. Krug’s book was filled with a lot of great concepts to keep in mind, some you may think are “no brainers” when it comes to web design, and others that are so basic they may never cross your mind during the development process, such as the design of the “search” box or the shading of the “click here” buttons people tend to include on their web pages. I read this book for my Digital Public History class and found it an incredibly useful reference for future endeavors…

Don’t Make Me Think was probably one of the most straight-forward and extremely helpful books I have read in a while. Everything I wanted to and needed to know about the basics of building a site can be found in this short and very readable book. It was very “user-friendly” as Krug stressed throughout the book that websites should be. One of the most helpful aspects of this book was the multiple images in each chapter exemplifying his point and making comprehension that much easier. The use of images to show the good, the bad, and the ugly helped me visualize what it is I should be doing and what it is I should be avoiding (or just taking into consideration).

Chapter one, rule number one, was the biggest take-away…the golden rule in web design that was carried on with examples throughout the book: “as far as is humanly possible, when I look at a Web page it should be self-evident. Obvious. Self-explanatory.” (11) As I continued from this chapter in awe of his numerous examples that seemed so basic they may have never crossed my mind in the development process, I started thinking “holy crap this is good”…as I began chapter three with the basic elements users should see on each page, I started to constantly tab pages with things to go back and reference….because seriously, it was that good.

As I progressed through, reading this book started to make websites seem overwhelming, but at the same time, not so much because Krug’s book was there to guide me along the way. The only chapter that left me hanging there with less information than I wanted to take away was chapter 11 on “Accessibility, Cascading Style Sheets, and you”…this chapter provided some information on accessibility, but there are many other resources out there worthy of reading and keeping in mind. (Example: Jonathan Lazar Paul Jaeger’s “Reducing Barriers to Online Access for People with Disabilities,” Issues in Science and Technology (Winter 2011), 69-82).

Steve Krug’s book is one of those books I plan to keep on the book shelf for continual reference…

christina

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