Don’t make me think: Revisited

Originally Published on UX Book Reviews on August 16th, 2015.

Time to Read: 2-3hours
Suitable for: Absolute beginners and can be recommended to UX beginners and executives who need to know and talk the UX lingo.

Don’t make me think: Revisited

“Don’t make me think – Revisited” hasn’t changed much from its first edition published 15 years back. Everything Krug wrote in 2001 has still stayed relevant with the growth of the user experience design. This is a good read for beginners to get a solid understanding of the UX foundations and, I would say, for anyone who can influence the design decisions of web/mobile interfaces even in the smallest way possible. (Note: If you are an experienced UX professional, you probably would have read one of the previous editions. In case you are wondering what’s new, this edition has been revised to include mobile usability and has updated examples.)

The title says it all. “Don’t make me think” is about why its important to not make users think and how to go about doing that.

This book is not about ground breaking insights but rather simple common sense backed with visual examples. And, you will find yourself thinking more often than not, “Oh yeah, that’s right! Why didn’t I notice that before?”

When you finish reading the book you will know,

  • the guiding principles and rules of usability
  • how users skim, scan and suffice
  • the importance of good copy
  • how to design a good navigation for web
  • how to get your home page right
  • how to do simple usability testing by yourself
  • why usability will create good will
  • some accessibility tips
  • and most importantly, how to address ideas from your manager which will create usability issues

Image from the book

According to Krug, a person of average (or even below average) ability and experience should be able to figure out how to use the thing to accomplish something without it being more trouble than it’s worth. He also stresses the importance of testing the product’s usability often and early. He provides insights on how to conduct an affordable usability test.

The way the book is written makes it easy to absorb these nuggets of usability principles and rules. What I like about this book is that, Krug’s rules of usability can be used for anything from a simple landing page to an enterprise system. While the examples might seem a little outdated, I find that these timeless principles are scalable.

“Don’t make me think.” makes a short fun read, which will shift your perspective on your users and usability of web and mobile. The narration is witty and concise, making it a perfect read for that short 2-hour flight ride. For myself, I think this is a book that I ‘ll dip into every now and then as a refresher/reference and would recommend it as a valuable addition to your bookshelf.

Don’t think just buy it.

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