A couple of weeks ago a co-worker gave me a copy of Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug to read. I read about a third of the book today. As I started to read, I could see that the typical web user patterns described in the early chapters were in fact a reflection of many of my own browsing habits.
There were a couple of key points were made that really struck me. Although it seems painfully obvious, it is important that web sites be designed to reflect the manner in which the TYPICAL end user will use/browse/interact with the site. The bottom line is, if a site is too awkward to use, people will be less likely to return to the sight. Secondly, in spite of the careful design of most sites, users gather information much in the same way you do zipping down the highway and glancing at a bill board.
Ideas covered in the book so far include: simplistic design, minimizing the amount of text used, establishing a clear visual hierarchy of information and minimizing the clicks – and all illustrated effectively through some great analogies.
My context? As we look at rolling out web sites for large numbers of staff in my Board, we have been focusing on simple design in an easy to use, easy to support environment. Many aspects of the book clearly line up well with our intent and gives me even more insights to planning our rollout of websites.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book. Based on what I have read and learned so far, I would recommend Don’t Make Me Think as a good read for anyone involved in web design whether your plans are big/small or professional/personal.
One thought on “Click, click … web design”
Interesting thoughts, Mark. It seems to me that the problem is one of exponential growth at times. Simple, easy to navigate website, don’t have a great deal of richness to them. As they start to become richer with more content, they become more difficult to navigate. What is the answer? I’m thinking that content management is the key to success. Any website that I find of value, I tend to subscribe to RSS feed rather than trying to navigate my way through the inevitable maze. I hope that you share the rest of your reading as you polish off that book.