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
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.
Table of Contents
Preface About this edition vi
Introduction Read me first 2
Throat clearing and disclaimers
Chapter 1 Don't make me think! 10
Krug's First Law of Usability
Chapter 2 How we really use the Web 20
Scanning, satisficing, and muddling through
Chapter 3 Billboard Design 101 28
Designing for scanning, not reading
Chapter 4 Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral? 42
Why users like mindless choices
Chapter 5 Omit needless words 48
The art of not writing for the Web
Things You Need to Get Right
Chapter 6 Street signs and Breadcrumbs 54
Chapter 7 The Big Bang Theory of Web Design 84
The importance of getting people off on the right foot
Making Sure You Got Them Right
Chapter 8 "The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends" 102
Why most arguments about usability are a waste of time, and how to avoid them
Chapter 9 Usability testing on 10 cents a day 110
Keeping testing simple-so you do enough of it
Larger Concerns and Outside Influences
Chapter 10 Mobile: It's not just a city in Alabama anymore 142
Welcome to the 21st Century.
You may experience a slight sense of vertigo
Chapter 11 Usability as common courtesy 164
Why your Web site should be a mensch
Chapter 12 Accessibility and you 172
Just when you think you're done, a cat floats by with buttered toast strapped to its back
Chapter 13 Guide for the perplexed 182
Making usability happen where you live
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“Don’t Make Me Think” Review Allow me to make you think…less. I was drawn to this book like a student is drawn to a textbook; forcefully by a villainous teacher. But I would be ever so wrong to call this book a text book, because it is most certainly not. “Don’t Make Me Think” is a book that delivers delicious information of web and mobile usability into your head with class. What is web and mobile usability you may ask? Well, I would just say find out for yourself but my teacher would most definitely not approve…did I mention he is cruel. You see, the word “usability” is about how easy something can be used. In this case the websites on your phone, tablet, desktop computer, etc. In today’s world we have so many luxuries that the internet provides us and it would take too long to explain all of them—you’re welcome. This book tosses out 13 chapters of humor, tips and knowledge of how to approach web and mobile usability. Below is a reader’s digest version of the pages that make up this ingenious book. Krug says it best, “Nothing important should be more than two clicks away.” I think that most of us can agree on this statement because the majority of us don’t like to take the scenic route when it comes to online shopping—or anything online for that matter. Krug states that scanning is something we all do online…and even offline. We “the common folk” want to find the “stuff” that is most relevant to what “we” are doing. All the rest is fluff and we frankly don’t care. So knowing how to minimize distractions and rage quits is essentially king. As you move further into the book. Krug really hits home about how all web users are unique and all web use is basically idiosyncratic. This is why designing, building and maintaining a web site or app isn’t easy. Krug compares it to golf. There are a handful of ways to get the ball in the hole, and a million ways not to. Since one simply doesn’t know how a web site will perform you must conduct testing. Don’t worry though, Krug has your back…or his words written on the page do. There is a method to this madness and it is very simple and is written in a self-explanatory fashion so you don’t have to think on asking others what they think. I could go on for days writing about all the knowledge this book has to offer but since I hit my 400 word minimum, I’ll sum things up so you don’t have to think. This book is definitely worth the buy if you’re a student or currently in a career that deals with web sites. If the words “reading” and “book” turn you off, fear not. This book is an easy read and the writing style is very much enjoyable. All I can do now is rate this book and hopefully this will make you think about buying…“Don’t Make Me Think”. 4/5 -HUFF
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.
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.
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.