Don't Make Me Think - Steve Krug

Don't Make Me Think - Steve Krug

Have you ever had difficulty creating an Internet browsing page? Learn here how to apply the principles of design and organization to a website.

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The organization of the information on the screens must be such that the user does not need to think to perform the actions, they must be intuitive.

In the first eye contact, the person must already understand everything that was seen for the message to be really transmitted and to be successful in its search. Navigation through the system should be simple but adding value to what is presented.

Hence the importance of testing several times and with different visuals, so that more and more errors are minimized. Everything may be working perfectly in relation to the information contained, but if the operation is difficult or the layout is “ugly/uninteresting” the chance of evasion increases.

The book “Don't Make Me Think” addresses a good introduction to these usability testing techniques and explains that the more tests you perform, the more likely you are to find errors.

The book “Don’t Make Me Think”

The book “Don’t Make Me Think” written by Steve Krug, was first published in 2006 and provides guidelines for some basic user experience design principles.

The work exemplifies the way people use the sites, brings some examples of famous sites and how navigation is done on these sites, which reminds you how to test yours.

Who is Steve Krug?

Steve Krug is a professional user experience consultant, usability consultant and highly sought-after speaker.

He works with website design for large corporate clients and is best known for his book “Don’t Make Me Think. In addition, he is also the director of a consulting firm called Advanced Common Sense.

Why should I read “Don’t Make Me Think”?

The book “Don’t Make Me Think” was written for ordinary people who are starting to configure their website with a common-sense approach to usability on the web and with the organization.

It can also be indicated for those who care about people who are going to use a certain website, blog and online store page, with a User Experience (UX) approach.

What can I learn from “Don’t Make Me Think”?

  • What are the basic principles of user experience design;
  • Users’ choices and the types of things we can expect users to want or do on a website;
  • The information on a website must be self-explanatory;
  • Do everything for the user to return to your site;
  • Do not try to deceive the user! Go straight to the point;
  • Always have a way to get back to your website's homepage.

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[Book Summary] Don't Make Me Think - Steve Krug

Make your website easy to use

The principles of good web design are nothing more than pure common sense. It has to do with the ease of use of objects, tools, websites, applications, etc. A great website needs to be usable, in the sense that it should work for the customer, meet their purposes and be easy to use.

If users have difficulty navigating your site, they will avoid accessing it and will hardly return. However, there is no single way to create a website. The author Steve Krug brings some tips for this construction:

  • Simplify your site! In the book“Don't make me think!”, this is the first law of usability. People should never be confused about what to do, where to go, or doubt where to click to find what they are looking for;
  • Make your site obvious and clickable. If users have to ask themselves how things work, they will end up being distracted. Even if this dialogue lasts only a second, it is a long time.

Users should never have to ask, “Where am I?” or “Where should I start?”. They need to easily identify the following elements:

  • Site identity;
  • Page name;
  • Global navigation (sections and subsections);
  • Local navigation (an option within the level you are at);
  • Indicators like ‘‘You’re here ’’;
  • Search bar.

Invigorate by creating a clear and easily accessible website, eliminating steps, providing important data, anticipating problems, apologizing for any errors and facilitating the printing of the pages.

Follow the five basic principles to make people's time on your site productive and efficient:

  1. Create a clear visual hierarchy;
  2. Have effective usage conventions;
  3. Divide pages into clearly defined areas;
  4. Make the clickable content obvious;
  5. Minimize noise.

Your navigation tools should be uniform and clear

The fact is, people will not use your site if they cannot navigate it. On the web, your feet never touch the ground. Instead, you go through the clicks on the links.

Whenever you look for something, you make decisions and browsing the web is similar. When accessing the Internet, you use the signals that the page provides and, if you do not find what you are looking for, you will end up leaving the site.

Therefore, your navigation tools are crucial. The use of breadcrumbs – that is, the famous: “You are in ...” (as if it were a location map) – provides visitors with something to hold on to.

They tell users what's available on the site so they know when they can stop searching. Ideally, the navigation tool should also tell people how to use the site and how to return to the home page.

To prevent users from getting lost, you must use the information hierarchy, the most important things must be higher and more visible, the less important things must be among the most important, and so on.

Another way addressed by the book “Don't Make Me Think” is the “nesting” of information. They are boxes within boxes that perfectly demonstrate what is what and which of the items is the most important.

Try to clearly distinguish pages with bold fonts and colors or both. Your homepage is the one that needs the most care. She needs to identify the site, communicate her tasks, indicate the hierarchy and display the search function. The home page should give you an immediate idea of what your site is and capture the overall picture.

The most used tool of browsers today is the back button.

To optimize your site, apply frequent usability tests

Author Steve Krug demystifies whether the usability test is large and expensive. The tests can and should be simple and with very low investments.

If you want a great website, you need to give it a try!

Tests always work and even the worst test with the wrong user will show you important things you can do to improve your website.

Test your site early in the design process and don’t worry about recruiting representative users. It is more important to test as soon as possible and often.

When testing, you are not trying to prove or reject anything. You are looking for information about how real people use your website. Testing is a transformative process. You test, fix the problem and test again.

Almost anyone can be tested. However, if your site is used almost exclusively by one type of user or is intended for different audiences with different needs, recruit testers from those groups. The purpose of the test is not to prove or disapprove of something, but to inform your judgment.

Offer accessibility for everyone

The book focuses on making your website clear and understandable. Unless you make a general decision that people with disabilities are not part of your audience, you cannot really say that your website can be used unless it is accessible.

To make your site available to everyone, you need to include accessibility in it. Imagine how much you can improve the lives of people with disabilities just by making a few adjustments on the page. As a classic example of subtitles, it is often useful for people with hearing impairments.

Books on advertising and customer service 

The author Darren Bridge in his work Neurodesign brings ideas on how to be successful in advertisements, advertising pieces and various products, through some characteristics, such as impressions, visual prominence and emotions caused by images or text.

The Disney Institute revealed its enchantment secrets in the book Be Our Guest. The work portrays that understanding the client consists of applying “guestology” (guest study), and that involves understanding the client's needs and desires, what they think their company is and their emotions.

In the book Inside Steve’s Brain, Leander Kahney says that one of the causes of Apple's success is that Steve Jobs puts the best user experience as a top priority.

How can I apply the ideas from “Don't Make Me Think”?

Thinking about a business model, where services/products are offered, it is necessary to define the target audience, even if it is quite different, so that you can focus on the best type of service and product that I should offer or not, for each specific sample.

The book “Don't Make Me Think” states that your language must be simple and such products/services must solve customer/user problems efficiently.

Such products and services must be tested several times, in their respective audiences and each time an error is found, the service/product must be resolved and delivered again to the customer.

An efficient and economical way to test is through satisfaction surveys, where the customer can pass on their experience as a user about what they bought or not.

With the errors minimized, the products and services tested, the simple language, the efficiency in what is offered, the public sees value and not price in what is offered and becomes the “ambassador” of the brand, propagating it positively in their respective niches. A positive experience can mark a person's life forever.

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Don't Make Me Think - Steve Krug