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Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
I've received many complements of the design of my Web pages, doctom.com and fergusonreport.com. And while my friend and Webmaster John Grohol is largely responsible, author Steve Krug deserves much of the credit. After several months of considering one design scheme or another, and reading half a dozen books on Web design, I read his book twice on a long plane ride. By the time we landed, I had completed detailed design drawings for both sites.
Most Web design books explain how your site should look. Steve Krug's focuses on how it should work. Don't Make Me Think is, among other things, a masterful crash course in the essential art of navigation design, providing insight after insight into what goes on on inside the heads of real average users as they attempt to navigate your site. And it is just as useful for the technologically challenged as it is for experienced Web designers.
The title says it all. As the author explains, "'Don't Make Me Think.' That means that as far as humanly possible, when I look at a Web page what the site offers and how everything works should be self-evident. Obvious. Self-explanatory. I should be able to "get it"what it is and how to use itwithout expending any effort thinking about it."
The book itself is a lovely example of this philosophy. It is open and accessible, clear and concise, simply but cleverly illustrated, and surprisingly enjoyable. You can find a sample chapter (along with other interesting and useful Steve Krug goodies) at www.sensible.com.
Selected Quotes from Don't Make Me Think:
Fact of life #1:
Published in The Ferguson Report, Number 9, September 2002
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