Don’t Make Me Think is usability expert Steve Krug’s way of explaining how to make the internet much simpler and of course usable to the common person. Some of the highlights of the book that really pertained to me when reading had to do with designing a web site. As someone who eventually wants to keep an updated blog, his themes made a lot of sense. Most of the things Krug comments on aren’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind. He talks about the things that allow us to have a natural reaction instead of having to think through the motions.
One telling example of this was the way a button looked. Most websites have buttons on their page to either lead to another page or to help expand on certain topics. When the button is made to look like it comes out and pops on your computer screen, the mind easily recognizes the fact that the button is click-able. If it looked like a flat image or even more like an arrow the user has to concern themselves with thinking about whether or not the button can be clicked.
While this may seem like a lot for whether or not clicking a button could be so important, Krug reiterates the fact that when people can move through a website with relative ease it will not only keep the user on your site, but it will also ensure that they will come back ( provided their is good content).
Another good point that Krug brings up is that pages should be designed for the user and that web pages should be acclimated towards their benefit. Another example of this is making sure the content you want to show a potential user or reader is easy to see. Krug states the fact readers usually scan websites and don’t read through the entire thing. As someone who would try to implement that, I would make blog posts the center of attention and make sure that the search bar for my site is somewhere noticeable and easy to use.
While a lot of this has to do with the design of a page, maybe the most interesting thoughts of the book are on how navigation should be used through a website. Krug says that the first thing people usually look for on their first visit to a website is the search bar. The search bar should be very simple, but at the same time in a place that is convenient for the user to consistently find. Along with the search bar, links should be on your site to help categorize certain topics. For example, on my website I talk about a lot of different professional and collegiate sports. To make my site less cluttered I would have links concerning to different topics like Gator Football or Miami Dolphins to help the user easily navigate through certain pages to find information on a topic. There could also be key words to help identify a specific article on a certain player or coach that would help a reader differentiate between articles.
Overall, Don’t Make Me Think really helped me understand how to design and edit a website to help make it more usable to an audience and also really hammered down the importance of usability on the internet.