Don’t Make Me Think

Confusing signIt still surprises me that there are so many bad websites out there – especially since some designers act as if there is nothing new left to learn about design.

To me, a bad site is one where you don’t know where to start when you land on the home page and where the graphics don’t help you make decisions about what to click on.  Even a big consulting company like McKinsey could use some help.

That’s why I’m still a big fan of Steve Krug and his wonderful ‘basic’ book on Website design called Don’t Make Me Think.

His common sense thinking is focused on ‘usability’ – how customers or visitors ‘use’ your site.  And, he suggests that many sites are too complex, too difficult to navigate and too hard to figure out.

In his book, he says that when someone visits your website, they start by scanning the page and then click on the first ‘reasonable’ option to get them closer to what they want.  He calls this action ‘satisficing’ -a word coined by Herbert Simon – meaning to suffice and/or satisfy.

He suggests that every web site should be subjected to ‘usability testing’ — an inexpensive, powerful way to root out the obstacles in a site while highlighting what’s really useful.

It’s gritty, real-world research.

Whether you just started building a web site or you’ve been designing sites for years, Don’t Make Me Think is a valuable tool.

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