Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition Reviews

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition

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 We

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 Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition Reviews

3 Comments

  1. Meryl K. Evans "Content Maven behind meryl.net" | |
    60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Sequel (2nd ed) lives up to the original, November 19, 2005
    This review is from: Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition (Paperback)

    When we design Web sites, we often overlook the simplest things because we’re too wrapped up in the design. After working on Web sites for a while, some of us have slowly moved away from what we know is usable to adding or removing elements that may enhance the `look’ – and also break a site’s usability.

    Steer back on track with the new edition of Krug’s highly referenced book. Novice, intermediate, expert. No matter where you are on the scale, the book provides value to everyone – even managers, testers and project managers. Management likes to get their hands a little dirty when it comes to Web design projects and sharing this book may make the team’s life easier.

    Anyone involved with Web design or usability will recognize most, if not all, of the concepts covered in the book. What makes Don’t Make Me Think usable is that it’s a great checklist to ensure you’ve covered all the basics.

    Krug provides many before and after examples to show how a few changes can enhance a Web site’s usability. The illustrations reinforce the concepts covered as well as how visitors use and read a Web site.

    As for the differences between the first and second editions, the second addition has three new chapters while usability testing shrinks from two chapters to one and with good reason.

    The testing chapter breaks down the testing process into digestible steps; complete with a script between the tester (user) and the person watching the tester. Too often, we’ve seen testing get mangled or ignored. With this chapter, teams might find themselves empowered and eager to do testing.

    The chapter on “Usability as common courtesy” explores how a site can make or break the “reservoir of goodwill” as Krug puts it. We arrive at a Web site with some goodwill and depending on how well the site meets or misses our needs; the goodwill level goes up or down. It may only take one mistake to propel visitors to flee.

    Another new and short chapter is “Accessibility, Cascading Style Sheets and you.” Krug captures what developers and designers hear when it comes to accessibility and addresses what they fear. He lists five things designers and developers can do make a site accessible without a lot of effort.

    Finally, the book closes with “Help! My boss wants me to…” Krug has received plenty emails and questions on the topic to identify two questions that repeatedly come up. He provides email examples for free re-use, so no one has to explain it to the boss.

    It only takes about two hours or a plane trip to read. The writing is conversational, clear and packs a punch with a dash of humor thrown in. Reading the book is not much different than reading fiction because it flows well and the information sinks in without much effort.

    If you get this book and have the 1st edition, I recommend keeping both. You might find helpful stuff in the original material not found in the new edition.

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  2. E. Kao "Bang for buck reading" | |
    27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Drives points home…for the luddite, June 4, 2006
    By 
    E. Kao “Bang for buck reading” (San Francisco, CA United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition (Paperback)

    First off, let me preface this by admitting that I am not a web designer or information architect expert by any means. I work in tech being a “jack of all trades” with internet applications where we are always strapped for resources (ie we don’t have designers or web producers for this side project, all those resources are devoted to the cash cow at our company). At some times I’m an acting site product manager other times I’m a product marketer.

    Steve Krug distills “everything you need to know” into a short book that is written colloquially and deals with real-life web team scenarios, and gives some really simple exercises for reviewing a website.

    I especially appreciate his beginning most chapters with a real-life example (ie a designer vs a developer disagreeing about the use of a pulldown menu). This shows me he’s been in the trenches before, and keeps me interested in what his solution is.

    His chapter on how to run usability tests on a shoestring budget will help not only me (who’ll have to run the tests), but also will provide a lot of background on scenarios where usability efforts tend to not take off within a company. Additionally he provides solutions on how to mitigate these excuses — he’s about how to get things done, not about theorizing.

    Thanks Steve – another new fan has joined the fold.

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  3. CMOS | |
    25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    What They Said…, May 5, 2006
    By 
    CMOS (US) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition (Paperback)

    Not much too add beyond what many of the other reviewers have said, except that it was a real pleasure to read such an approachable book, and get so many good ideas in such a short amount of time. Note: this isn’t a book about theory. It’s about what works and doesn’t work in practice and that’s it. Krug gets right to the heart of the matter on every point. If you’re looking for detailed discussions of web design techniques and why they’re good or bad, this is not the right book for that.

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