Arcane Review: Don’t Make Me Think

I just completed Steve Krug’s classic “Don’t Make Me Think!” book on web usability. (http://shrinkster.com/onw to see it on Amazon.) This was actually his second edition, published in 2005, a follow up from the original done in 2000.

I thought this was a nice fit with an earlier book I read called “Why Software Sucks” (see my review at http://shrinkster.com/onx). In “Why Software Sucks” the author concentrated on bad web sites / software, what was wrong, and how you could demand it become better.

In contrast, Steve Krug looks primarily at good, well designed sites (although he does throw in a few bad ones for comparison purposes). “Don’t Make Me Think” is written from the developer’s point of view, and shows what works. More importantly, Krug explains why a particular design works. That kind of insight was well worth the cover price alone.

But even better, Krug covers the concept of usability testing, and explains how you can do usability testing on your own website at little cost (or even no cost if you have a few friends and family members you can victimize!). If the insights I mentioned previously weren’t worth the cost then this one chapter alone, with it’s scripts and suggestions, certainly justify it.

Finally, this book was a quick, enjoyable read. Right around 200 pages and many, many illustrations made this a fast book. Steve Krug’s humor and writing style made it an enjoyable way to spend an evening or two, and I even managed to learn something in the process.

Standard disclaimer, I make no money off sales of the book, yada yada yada. Just thought it was a good read.

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