Book Review: DON’T MAKE ME THINK by Steve Krug

September 15th, 2011

I’ve been wanting to do some book reviews for a little bit. Ya know.. put my bookshelf to use beyond just myself and my obsessive amazon wishlisting and purchasing habits. This is then the first of at least 1.

Steve Krug’s ‘Dont Make Me Think – A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability’ is one of the first books I read about web design and it was a revelatory experience. Even though he was echoing many of my own thoughts about using websites over the years, he was doing so precisely, with vast tracts of supporting evidence and plenty of specific techniques to apply to my projects.

The central thesis of Krug’s book is one that has become fairly accepted over the years, at least in web-design circles: you should design and structure websites based around what the user wants. They call it User-Centered Design or UCD these days. It turns out people will like your site more if it gives them what they want. They’ll be more likely to go beyond the homepage, come back to the site next week with their auntie, or buy a goat from you, etc. It’s kind of a no-brainer to lots of people, yet at the same time it’s very easy to lose track of if your ‘brand’ steals the limelight. Bigger logo, more focus on what you want the user to do, hide those expensive prices behind a contact form, make the logo a little bigger still, etc. I guess that’s the thing about no-brainers, maybe they should be in your brain, just in case! Read the rest of this entry »