Don’t Make Me Think (Steve Krung)

Web Usability, 9/10 – November 2008

It’s strange how much you can learn when common sense concepts are explicitly pointed out. This book is short and easy to read because it uses very simple language but it taught me (a new web developer) a lot.

My favourite points:

  1. Steve Krung’s Law of Usability – User’s shouldn’t have little thought bubbles poping up when looking at your site. For example, clickable things should look clickable, things should be worded as users would expect (e.g. “Search” rather than “Find”).
  2. Web users Scan, Satisfice (try something and click back if not good and try again) and muddle though (don’t stop to think to make the optimal choice).Therefore, pages should be designed as bill boards and be able to be understood while passing at 70mph (i.e. built for scanning not reading).
  3. Web users should be able to see exactly what your page does (i.e. no playing Animal, Vegetable, or mineral?) – They like mindless choices.
  4. Keep text short – half the number of words, then do it again.
  5. For a page, this is the trunk test: Hold it at arms length and squint at it and as quickly as possible, find 1) The Site ID, 2) The Page Name, 3) Sections and sub-sections, 4) Local Navigation, 5) “You are here” indicator, 6) Search.
  6. After a few weeks on a site you can’t see it from a average users view anymore. So get someone (friend, family or neighbour) to sit and try to use your site and see where they get confused.

One response to “Don’t Make Me Think (Steve Krung)”

  1. James BB

    All very true. If only designers and managers would understand!!!

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