I have finished reading Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. Further to my earlier observations (see previous blog post), I wanted to share a few more comments regarding this book.
The point that really struck home for me was the notion of visual hierarchy. Web sites must be designed to enable the end user to quickly identify what is most important, relevant and least important on a page with great ease. Design elements that impact this include layout strategy, fonts, graphic use and colour schemes and choices.
Just as important is the concept of what is NOT there on the page. Many web pages need a serious decluttering to achieve a better presentation and flow of information ~ important content vs. detractors ~ function vs. confusion. There are many good examples illustrated in the book.
Graphics are more that ‘just graphics’. They really do need to relate to real world uses to reinforce function to the end user. An example of this is the use of tabs. People know what tabs are – they divide, different information is contained behind different tabs. Tabs provide high level organization on websites because people can easily identify with the concept of how they function.
Steve outlines some great strategies around the whole design (check out the ‘truck’ test section and the notion of testing and validating before ‘going live’.
All in all, this is a very informative book well worth the read!
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.