Since Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.
Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic–with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all–fun to read.
If you’ve read it before, you’ll rediscover what made Don’t Make Me Think so essential to Web designers and developers around the world. If you’ve never read it, you’ll see why so many people have said it should be required reading for anyone working on Web sites.
“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.”
–Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards
About the Author
Steve Krug (pronounced "kroog") is best known as the author of Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, now in its second edition with over 350,000 copies in print. Ten years later, he finally gathered enough energy to write another one: the usability testing handbook Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. The books were based on the 20+ years he's spent as a usability consultant for a wide variety of clients like Apple, Bloomberg.com, Lexus.com, NPR, the International Monetary Fund, and many others.
His consulting firm, Advanced Common Sense ("just me and a few well-placed mirrors") is based in Chestnut Hill, MA. Steve currently spends most of his time teaching usability workshops, consulting, and watching old episodes of Law and Order.
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Stay focused on the customer.
If you've ever tried searching for something only to get results for something totally different, you know how frustrating it can be. This book helps business owners and marketers think like consumers. It helps you keep focus on the customer--a fundamental rule when you write. The easier you make it for a consumer, the more likely s/he will find you. The book suggests using consumer words rather than technically accurate words. It's all about keeping common sense in the forefront of your mind when you're creating or updating your website.
It's a refreshing reminder of staying focused on the reader.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
An easy, conversational guide to Web development and usability
By Neville Samuels
People don't have time to waste when they're browsing through the web. And don't make them think, either.
Steve Krug's book is all about taking a common sense approach to web development, especially usability. He wrote that there's no such thing as an average user, everyone is different. So, as you can imagine, developing great websites that appeal to most people is almost like climbing Mt Everest wearing sneakers. It's a lot harder than it looks.
Mr. Krug has created an easy to read, conversational guide on what usually works in attracting visitors to a website, and to keep them returning. He points out some of the pitfalls, like how everyone wants to get their finger in the pie of the Home page, to the point where it could become bloated and useless.
Heard of 'Street Signs' and 'Breadcrumbs'? You will when you get to the part about making sure visitors know where they are and where they're going on a website. As much as people hate getting lost in a shopping mall, the same is true on the web.
There's also a substantive section on usability testing. How important it is, but also how it's not necessary to go overboard with it as well.
While it doesn't take long to get through this book, which happens to include useful illustrations and cartoons, you do learn a lot of things in this bestseller.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
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By Miss Print
Nowadays, most students are faced with the world of HTML and computer science at some point in their academic careers. For me, the first time was in CIS 101 in college. (Yes, there was a second time. It turns out grad school does not assume computer literacy). Although it isn't always part of the formal curriculum, usability is always an underlying theme in technology classes even if it is just a question of whether the HTML textbook is actually written in gibberish or not. Usability is also one of the few fields where anyone, even the computer illiterate, can be an expert.
The idea behind usability is simple: Look at a given design and see how accessible it is for users. Anyone can have an opinion on usability and everyone can provide input. All it takes is a clear head and the patience to look at what works (or doesn't) and why. If you use it, you have information about its usability. To get back to the subjects of Computer Science and technology, usability has lately been applied to the world of Web design.
Usability consultant Steve Krug lays out all of the basics about Web usability in his book Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability currently in its second edition, published in 2006 after the first edition sold nearly 100,000 copies.
As far as titles go, there are few that offer as clear a picture of the book's content as this one. Krug's main point throughout his 185-page guide is that good Web sites don't make users think. Unlike college, Krug posits that using a conventional website should not be an intellectual exercise. It should be simple, it should be neat, and it should be self-evident. In other words, if a user cannot identify the site's purpose, and where to start on said site, just by viewing the homepage something has gone horribly wrong.
Krug details how to fix such problems and how to avoid them with usability tests. That may sound self-serving save for the fact that Krug also explains how to conduct usability tests on the cheap without the benefit of a usability consultant such as himself.
Written in short chapters packed with illustrations, this book is designed to be approachable and easy to read. Krug is serious about Web usability, but that in no way means his book is stodgy or dry. Examples of usability at work are littered with cartoons and the text maintains a sense of humor. My favorite chapter title (and subtitle) "Usability as common courtesy: Why your Web site should be a mensch" might offer some idea of what tone to expect from this book.
Of course, taking a computer class to meet a core requirement in college doesn't always lead to work in the field of Web design in fact most of the time it leads to an entirely different career. But, in today's technology-driven culture, doesn't everything come back to the Internet eventually?
It might just be working as an intern at an online magazine, or a starting position where duties include entering data into online spreadsheets, or it might just be writing your own blog on a site like WordPress or Blogger. Wherever your path leads, knowing something about Web usability and how good Web sites get that way can only help. As more and more information moves to cyberspace, with websites being created and updated all the time, it's important to be prepared by knowing how to analyze not only the information found online but also how it is presented. Don't Make Me Think is one tool that can assist Web users in that preparation.