Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability / Edition 2

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Overview

Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it's hard to imagine anyone working in Web design who hasn't read Steve Krug's "instant classic" on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, Steve adds three new chapters in the same style as the original: wry and entertaining, yet loaded with insights and practical advice for novice and veteran alike. Don't be surprised if it completely changes the way you think about Web design.

Three New Chapters!

  • Usability as common courtesy -- Why people really leave Web sites
  • Web Accessibility, CSS, and you -- Making sites usable and accessible
  • Help! My boss wants me to ______. -- Surviving executive design whims

"I thought usability was the enemy of design until I read the first edition of this book. Don't Make Me Think! showed me how to put myself in the position of the person who uses my site. 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.

In this second edition, Steve Krug adds essential ammunition for those whose bosses, clients, stakeholders, and marketing managers insist on doing the wrong thing. If you design, write, program, own, or manage Web sites, you must read this book." -- Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
When it comes to web usability, Don’t Make Me Think packs more punch per page than any other book we’ve seen. The first edition became an instant classic. We waited five years for a second edition, but it was worth the wait.

Krug’s principles have aged very well. So, what’s new here? First, Krug offers prefabricated emails to your boss, patiently explaining why his/her brainstorm isn’t really such a good idea (for instance, why adding visual “sizzle” could be counterproductive). There’s a new chapter on building sites that treat users well -- in Krug’s words, “behave like a mensch.” There’s also an unusually realistic take on accessibility, including five recommendations to follow if you can’t revamp your entire site.

Thankfully, Krug’s humor, brevity, and intelligence remain omnipresent in this edition. Highly recommended -- again. Bill Camarda, from the September 2005 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321344755
  • Publisher: New Riders
  • Publication date: 8/26/2005
  • Series: Voices That Matter Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 201
  • Sales rank: 166,261
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Krug is a usability consultant who has more than 15 years of experience as a user advocate for companies like Apple, Netscape, AOL, Lexus, and others. Based in part on the success of the first edition of Don’t Make Me Think, he has become a highly sought-after speaker on usability design.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Ch. 1 Don't make me think! 10
Ch. 2 How we really use the Web 20
Ch. 3 Billboard design 101 30
Ch. 4 Animal, vegetable, or mineral? 40
Ch. 5 Omit needless words 44
Ch. 6 Street sings and breadcrumbs 50
Ch. 7 The first step in recovery is admitting that the home page is beyond your control 94
Ch. 8 "The farmer and the cowman should be friends" 122
Ch. 9 Usability testing on 10 cents a day 130
Ch. 10 Usability as common courtesy 160
Ch. 11 Accessibility, cascading style sheets, and you 168
Ch. 12 Help! my boss wants me to ööööö . 180
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reinforced Common Sense

    As the subtitle says, it is mostly common sense. But to have it reinforced like this turns judging web site designs into a much simpler task. I found myself feeling like I had confirmation for many thoughts I have on the subject, but it raised my awareness of different user view points to a higher level. One item that was quite new to me though was the subject of usability testing. He explains his approach quite well and makes it sound quite easy and very useful. If nothing else, it gives you a sense of empathy for various user experiences on the web. Which can only help you improve your design's ability to meet their needs.

    I highly recommend anyone who is involved with web development in any way to check out this very quick and easy read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Great book and a quick read

    I used this book for a MBA project to improve a customer's website. It was easy to find things, gave great examples and was a fast read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    Good and fun

    It was a pleasant surprise read this book. Normally, on technical side we are used to read usefull but a little bit "dry" books. This one has a good design, excelent content and although five years old, up to date info.

    Even if you do not work directly with web design (like me as a developer) it worths the reading because we are in a lack of common sense in the past years...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good Quick Read

    It's a good little book. It reads like a referece manual with some light commentary, and I was able to read it in a couple hours while doing other things, so it's quick. But it's also very informative. I was reading it to brush up for a job interview, and the book definitely gave me the talking points I needed/wanted.

    Overall, definitely worth the couple bucks to get it. Easy to read, quick, informative, and lightly interspersed with commentary. Recommended

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

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    from missprint.wordpress.com

    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 pr

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 11, 2011

    Common sense doesn't go outdated.

    I recently moved into user experience at work, and this book saved my life. I might even recommend this to people who don't work web sites and applications as I'm sure many of the concepts still apply.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    A gem of a book

    This is one of the best books on user experience design. Short and succinct, it best embodies great interfaces design by doing as they say. Extra points for coining the phrase "this is not rocket surgery".

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  • Posted December 22, 2010

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    Common Sense

    This book is very logical but helps you think of thise things you may forget. It is a good read though. I enjoyed how the chapters were were split up.

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