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Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

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  • Posted March 5, 2014

    Steve found a way to make a great book even better!!! It hard t

    Steve found a way to make a great book even better!!!

    It hard to find any short-comings of what basically should be the first UX book any reads (2/ed sold over 400,000 copies and was translated in 20+ languages). However, if I had to point two out things with 2/ed, they would be #1 that some of the examples were getting less relevant (many of the website examples just aren't around anymore or look totally different) and #2 that it seemed to focus mainly on web-based sites/apps. Steve addresses both of these in the 3/ed.

    Krug has a very rare and unique gift to explain complex ideas and concepts succinctly with good dose of humour. The whole book is only 200 pages (compare with Alan Cooper's About Face 3/ed which is 648 pages and it's supposed to be only the "essentials" on IxD). It truly is short enough "...to read on a long plane ride" as intro says and quite entertaining.

    One of the strengths of 3/ed is chp 10, 20 pages on "Mobile: it's not just a city in Alabama anymore". Steve makes some great metaphors, like comparing mobile websites to shrinking a 8.5x11 sheet of paper into postage stamp. This book gives the readers insights that took many of us 15+ years of developing mobile apps to learn (the *hard* way). Also the concepts of affordances and understanding that interfaces don't have cursors is often overlooked. While important for phones and tablets I think they are also just as relevant for non-mobile platforms such as touch-screens devices, kiosks terminals and embedded displays/systems as well.

    If you're new to UX or you're a non-UX'er (PM, Dev, QA, Docs, etc) and you're looking to get better acquainted with Usability, I strongly suggest you start with this book. If you've already bought the 1/ed or 2/ed I'd still propose it's worth it just for new mobility chapter (you might have to wait another 9 years i you are holding out for a 4/ed). I've given a number of talks on UX and Usability and I have based a lot of them on concepts from this and It's Not Rocket Surgery. Both are excellent resources.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Must read for software developers and UI designers

    I already owned the second edition which was printed before mobile devices were common. The author has updated his examples and has added information on mobile devices which he labels as being in the "Wild West" state currently.

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  • Posted January 7, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    There has been a noticeable shift in technology design ¿ it¿s al

    There has been a noticeable shift in technology design – it’s all about us – the users! In light of this change, Steve Krug has updated his bestselling guide to web usability. As he says himself, “The basic principles are the same even if the landscape has changed, because usability is about people and how they understand and use things, not about technology. And while technology often changes quickly, people change very slowly.” 
    His core common sense approach remains the same, but with all the new devices that people are interacting with these days, the competitiveness of a product relies on how easy it is to use. You could pay for a professional like Krug to determine how usable your product is, if you can afford it. But even then, it’s important to learn the principles yourself so you know whether the person you hire is considering and addressing the right issues. Happily, this book practices what it preaches, it’s written in a friendly chatty way and well designed. In short, this great book goes down easy. 
    I’ve come across a lot of design books in my time and several in my last year while pursuing a higher education in graphic design. It would have been so great to have this book at my disposal while I was studying website design because the information is so well organized. For my classes I was provided Peachpit software books, which I found a little hard to follow for being too text heavy. If you are going to educate on design principles, you should follow similar rhetoric. Krug’s book organizes information in color, in tables, and often have entertaining illustrations.

    These new chapters make the new book a must-buy:
    Chapter 7 – Big Bang Theory of Web Design
    Chapter 10 – Mobile: It’s Not Just a City in Alabama
    Chapter 13 – Guide for the Perplexed: Making usability happen when you live

    As he recommended in an earlier edition, I too must encourage those approaching usability questions in a group setting to try the Synectics method, explained thoroughly in The Practice of Creativity.

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