“Don’t make me think” is a book that left on me a very big impression. Steve Krug is a user experience professional based in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He is best known for his book Don’t Make Me Think about human-computer interaction and web usability. He also heads a one-man consulting firm called Advanced Common Sense. Krug offers in-house workshops where he teaches do-it-yourself usability testing and provides targeted advice to clients on web usability strategies.
I would recommend it to anyone who has a chance to read the book.
- Usability Means…
Usability means making sure something works well, and that a person of average ability or experience can use it for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated.
- Web applications should explain themselves.
As far as humanly possible, when I look at a web page it should be self-evident. Obvious. Self-explanatory.
- Don’t Make Me Think
As a rule, people don’t like to puzzle over how to do things. If people who build a site don’t care enough to make things obvious it can erode confidence in the site and its publishers.
- Don’t waste my time
Much of our web use is motivated by the desire to save time. As a result, web users tend to act like sharks. They have to keep moving or they’ll die.
- Users still cling to their back buttons
There’s not much of a penalty for guessing wrong. Unlike firefighting, the penalty for guessing wrong on a website is just a click or two of the back button. The back button is the most-used feature of web browsers.
- We’re creatures of habit
If we find something that works, we stick to it. Once we find something that works — no matter how badly — we tend not to look for a better way. We’ll use a better way if we stumble across one, but we seldom look for one.
- No Time for Small Talk
Happy talk is like small talk – content free, basically just a way to be sociable. But most Web users don’t have time for small talk; they want to get right to the beef. You can – and should – eliminate as much happy talk as possible.
- Don’t lose search
Some people (search-dominant users), will almost always look for a search box as they enter a site. These may be the same people who look for the nearest clerk as soon as they enter a store.
- We form mental site-maps
When we return to something on a Web site, instead of replying on a physical sense of where it is, we have to remember where it is in the conceptual hierarchy and retrace our steps.
- Make it easy to go home
Having a home button in sight at all times offers reassurance that no matter how lost I may get, I can always start over, like pressing a Reset button or using a “Get out of Jail free” card.
Thank you for reading!