Don’t Make Me Think

Steve Krug is the godfather of UX, his book was published almost 20 years ago. The book is all about usability, with a focus on user interfaces and experiences, it is one book every UX Designer should own, it’s a great tool for the armory! What also makes it great, is that the book is relatively short, it’s well written with good use of imagery, and plenty of humor. I’ve read this book a few times, and have got new information each time. Unlike The Principles of Design, this book leans more towards a common-sense approach to UX, with the main crux being, if the user has to think about an action or task, then the UX can be improved. A snippet of information which I always remember is the importance of reducing text on a webpage as much as possible. “Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half what’s left”. — Steve Krug Although clearly, tongue in cheek it is a useful rule to abide by, or at least remember when writing content. Steve Krug does go on to argue that great literature on a website can be wasted, as most people don’t read websites like a book, they’re more likely to scan or skim. A user’s reality is much closer to a “billboard going by at 60 miles an hour”, he emphasizes that it’s better to keep information concise, in chunks and clear. Most look for words that catch their eyes, hence why minimizing noise and using white space, contrasting text and also hierarchy is paramount. Familiarity is another important point of usability which this book discusses. Steve Krug explains that it’s better to keep the design familiar with users, it’s better to refrain from trying to reinvent the wheel. However if you do, and it’s successful then it can be revolutionary. But most of the time it’s better to keep it familiar, as a learning curve will always cause friction. Lastly, another principle which I’ve always found useful, and is great with client conversations, is all about clicks. Steve Krug explains that it’s not necessarily all about fewer clicks is best. What’s more important is where that click takes you, and how difficult the click is. “3 easy clicks are better than one click which leads you nowhere”.