Don’t Make Me Think: Book Review

Categories Online Marketing
Steve Krug's Don't make me think 3rd Edition

Don’t Make Me Think! by Steve Krug definitely is without any doubt a “Must Read” when talking about usability! Steve Krug explains all the basic components that matter when creating a website. From the first page of this book he points out the noticeable shift in technology design.

It is not about the people who design or implement a website anymore, it is about us, the users! This is probably the most important fact I learned while reading this book. It does not matter what I think about my website, it only matters what the visitors think about it. Creating a website is not about painting every single element in the specific color I like, it is about finding out which colors the visitors like. It is about to find out how the implement the navigation to make the search for information as easy and as comfortable as possible. It is about writing texts that your visitors easily understand and want to read…

So far so good, but now let´s take a deeper look inside of Don´t Make Me Think! Here are the 13 chapters of the book:

    • Don´t Make Me Think:

The title of the first chapter basically tells everything this chapter is about, “don’t make me think”. Well what does this mean?

Create your website the way that visitors do not have to think about how to get the information they are looking for. When your users don´t know where to find the information they are looking for, it is very likely they will leave your website very soon or even bounce. This means they leave your website without having clicked on an element. In SEO concern you definitely do not want to have a high bounce rate!

    • How we really use the Web:

This chapter reveals another great insight, the fact that we usually don’t read a whole website, we scan the content. Steve Krug explains in a really easy way what this exactly means to you and how you should create good content.

    • Billboard Design 101:

In this chapter Steve Krug writes about visible structure of websites. This means he explains how and where you should place images, headlines, banners, etc. so you get the best revenue. Like in all the other chapters everything is illustrated with very good and helpful images.

    • Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?:

“Don’t make me think” is actually not enough, you should help visitors to find the needed information. Stuff like tips at the right places can help.

    • Omit needless words:

There is nothing more frustrating than reading super long texts with super low impact. Don’t write texts like that, even when you think you should place some keywords in your text to improve SEO. Write texts for the visitor, not for search engines (I know almost every one of you guys has read this advice for more than 1000 times).

    • Street signs and Breadcrumbs:

Another tool to help visitors find the needed information is Breadcrumbs. They help to navigate through websites. In case you don´t know what breadcrumbs are, look at the very top of this website. I also wrote another article about Breadcrumbs in WordPress, which could help you get a good introduction to the topic.

    • The Big Bang Theory of Web Design:

This chapter is all about the basics on how to start designing a website. Steve explains how you can choose content and how to design the view of your website. All the tasks are explained in very easy words so that even total beginners understand the essence.

    • “The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends”:

One important point when it comes to usability is that designers should not decide about good or bad usability. They are not your visitors. They are the ones who created the website. Of course they can navigate through it without any problem. In this chapter Steve explains very detailed hoe you should test the usability of your website.

    • Usability testing on 10 cents a day:

Like the title of this chapter already says, it again is about usability tests. It is just more detailed than in the chapter before.

    • Mobile: It´s not just a city in Alabama anymore:

Mobile First, Smartphones, Mobile SEO… Well I suppose you already guessed the content of this chapter. It is all about the specialities of mobile Apps and what these specialities mean for usability. Steve explains it very well so you can learn the basics for mobile usability.

    • Usability as common courtesy:

This chapter is about courtesy of your visitors. This means it is about how you can keep the courtesy constantly on a high level so visitors don´t leave the website.

    • Accessibility and you:

Accessibility is an important topic to reach really every one of your visitors. Steve Krug points out the issues of accessibility and usability and gives approaches to solve the problems.

    • Guide for the perplexed:

The last chapter gives a good summary of the most important topics of this book.

Finally I really think Don’t Make Me Think! is a “Must Have” book for every webmaster. Steve Krug explains all the important basics about usability. This gives you a good overview about the whole topic.

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