Don’t Make Me Think – A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

By Steve Krug

(Second Edition, Pearson)

Category: Web Design/ Web Development

User Level: Beginner-Advanced

Pages: Just 200 :)

When Steve Krug, a web usability consultant, published the first edition of the book in 2001, it was an instant hit and sold more than 1,00,000 copies. His wry and entertaining style loaded with insights and practical advice for novice and veteran alike made it a classic on Web Usability. This edition has 3 new chapters. The book practices what it preaches which can be seen in its writing, layout, design and organization. It is concise, has a well spaced out design and good illustrations, uses appropriate font sizes, covers a lot of ground quickly and is very easy to read as it is not crammed up with a lot of things vying for your attention.

I am just one website old. I am a novice, a beginner, trying to teach myself the tricks of the trade and I am glad I found this book. It is short as I don’t have enough patience for thick books. I like things short and sweet. Furthermore, I am a slow reader and I have this peculiar habit of imagining what I read. In this case, I somehow imagined Tom Hanks acting and narrating this book. I find him very sincere and this book is a “mensch” (You’ll have to read the book to know what that means ;p), therefore the connection.  Funny I know. Ok coming back to the point, apart from some of the author’s thoughts/principles which were on the same wavelength as mine (I may be the next genius in the making ;p), there are a lot of new lessons I learned about “mindless clicks”, “why web development team’s arguments are like religious debates” and the antidote for it, “the myth of the average user”, do-it-yourself usability testing, and “why your web site should be a mensch”. The chapter on Web Accessibility was an eye opener and very informative as I hardly knew anything about it. In particular, I enjoyed the chapter titled “Help! My Boss wants me to___ – When bad design decisions happen to good people”. I could relate to it ;p. Furthermore, the author also suggests other excellent books and websites to know more about Web Usability.

Like someone said – If you design, write, program, own, or manage Web sites, you must read this book. And much like design principles themselves, a book on usability design is unlikely to ever be outdated !

To know more about the author and read a chapter, you can visit his website –  For those of you interesed in usability testing, you can read his book – Rocket Surgery Made Easy.

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