Last October a my co-webmaster and I attended the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterrey, California. Many of the sessions on website design referenced Steve Krug’s book Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. We ordered copies of the book for ourselves right there during one of the sessions, and both read it when we got back. We are currently in the process of redesigning our library’ s website and have turned to the book again and again over the past few months. As I began work on our website’s style guide and went looking for a quote I wanted to use from the book, I realized that I had never written a review of it, so here goes.
Steve Krug has written a book that everyone who is designing or redesigning a website should read. It is a fairly quick read that is clear and to the point, all things that Krug recommends for writing for your website. He has designed “Krug’s Laws of Usability” that act as guiding principles for website design.
- 1st Law – “Don’t make me think!”
- 2nd Law – “It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.”
- 3rd Law – “Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.”
That last one is the quote I was looking for to insert in my style guide; it illustrates how important it is to be brief and to the point when it comes to writing for the web. His book is arranged in sections: Guiding Principles, Things You Need to Get Right, Making Sure You Got Them Right, and Larger Concerns and Outside Influences. He touches on topics such as how users scan for information on a webpage, why users need mindless, obvious choices, how to design navigation, designing your home page, and usability testing. Overall this book is a very worthwhile read and definitely worth keeping on your professional bookshelf. It also led me to get his other book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy, which is all about usability testing. I’m in the process of reading that one now and will write the review once I finish it.