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Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

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4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,371 Ratings  ·  992 Reviews
Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it's hard to imagine anyone working in Web design who hasn't read Steve Krug's "instant classic" on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, Steve adds three new chapters in the same style as the original: wry and entertaining, yet loaded with insights and pra ...more
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 201 pages
Published August 28th 2005 by New Riders Publishing (first published 2000)
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The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanDon't Make Me Think by Steve KrugUniversal Principles of Design by William LidwellAbout Face 3 by Alan CooperThe Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte
UX books
2nd out of 47 books — 84 voters
The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanDon't Make Me Think by Steve KrugThe Elements of User Experience by Jesse James GarrettAbout Face 3 by Alan Cooper100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People by Susan M. Weinschenk
Must Read UX Books
2nd out of 38 books — 55 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kian
May 18, 2008 Kian rated it it was amazing
Well, this is an absolute gem of a book. I picked this up the day after finishing Beautiful Code and to be honest, really wasn't in the mood for any more particularly heavy content for a few days.

But Steve Krug makes the topic of web usability genuinely entertaing. He holds a light writing style with a touch of wit that helps to keep your attention from cover to cover. Add to that the short size of the book at only a couple of hundred pages, and the vibrant but clear layout and you've got a book
...more
الخنساء
Jul 05, 2010 الخنساء rated it really liked it
عندما فتحت المساحة المخصصة للمراجعة كنت أنوي الكتابة بالإنجليزية، لكن دافع قومي ربما جعلني أكتب بالعربية
الكتاب جيد و دمه خفيف، وشرحه واضح جداً، لكن موجه بشكل كبير للمواقع التجارية
لكن مثلا المواقع الحكومية، المواقع التعليمية كلها تحتاج معايير لقابلية الاستخدام تختلف عن الموجودة في الكتاب، لكن المجال كما بدا لي مفتوح وفي البدايات و يحتاج للكثير
أيضا مصممي الأنظمة و قواعد البيانات، و واجهاتها بحاجة لقابلية الاستخدام وتحديد بعض المعايير لقابلية الاستخدام أيضا
Lina Aude
Oct 26, 2009 Lina Aude rated it it was amazing
كتاب مميز و بسيط جداً
فكرته قائمة على العنوان " لا تجعلني أفكر "
فهو يعطي فكرة لكل مبرمج أو مطور للمواقع أن يقدم موقع للزائر بحيث يكون الموقع بسيط و سلس و واضح دون حاجة ذلك الزائر لإن يدخل - بالحيط - حتى يتمكن من فهم قصدك كمبرمج للموقع .
و حتى إن لم تكن مبرمجاً يمكنك بكل بساطة التعامل مع الكتاب
Sean Besser
May 29, 2008 Sean Besser rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with any say over the look & feel of a commercial web page
MUST READ for anyone with any say over the look & feel of a commercial web page (designers, managers, marketing people, executives, etc.). It's a quick and easy read and is like having my own web usability consultant.

Goodreads and LOTS of other sites should have their managment teams read this.
Léonard Gaya
I read this handbook on Web usability for work related reasons. It was originally published in the early 2000’s, shortly after Jakob Nielsen’s Designing Web Usability. Both Krug and Nielsen have since become (along with Steve Jobs and Jony Ives, at Apple) the head honchos of Web Design.

This short and highly readable book covers topics such as: how people really use websites (they don’t actually read, they like to scan and browse mindlessly… but we already knew that, didn’t we?), how to design na
...more
Austin Kleon
Jan 06, 2010 Austin Kleon rated it it was amazing
A classic book about web design. Everyone should read it.

A few notes:

DON'T MAKE ME THINK BY STEVE KRUG
Graham Herrli
I was predisposed in favor of this book because it's the most-voted-for on the UX Stack Exchange. It wasn't all I'd hoped it would be. If this were the first text about usability I'd read, I might have gotten more out of it. As it was, the overwhelming majority of the topics presented seemed patently obvious to me.

One thing this book has going for it is its brevity. Before agreeing to publish a second edition, Krug insisted upon first discovering what could be removed from the first edition so t
...more
Muthazhagu Palanisamy
Mar 28, 2010 Muthazhagu Palanisamy rated it really liked it
This book is what it states - a common sense approach to web usability.

The book lays bare the facts, that -
1. Users do not read the text in a web page.
2. Users muddle through a web page, no matter how well thought out the layout, and menus are.
And as a designer, your task is to take these two facts into account when designing your website.

The author, Steve Krug, is very perceptive. While this is evident throughout the book, what did it for me was the footnote about the Site ID being on the top
...more
Tony
Oct 07, 2011 Tony rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Books about design need to pass one critical test. They must be well-designed, and this book is. Among the bits of knowledge Krug sprinkles, good web design is like the layout in a big box store, you should be able to look up and find signs that point you in the right direction. There is one crucial different between a brick and mortar store and its online counterpart: if you can’t navigate your way to what you want in a store, you can always ask someone. On the web that’s not possible, so web s ...more
Karen Chung
Oct 01, 2014 Karen Chung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Krug shows you how to make things easy for visitors to your site by making sure everything on it is obvious at a glance and easy to find and get to. And he practices what he preaches - I picked this book in large part because of its clear, attractive, reader-friendly design. It's a quick read, but you may want to take your time on it a bit to make sure you fully register everything he says.

There are applications of what he says far beyond web design. I teach pronunciation, and know
...more
Doc
Nov 09, 2008 Doc rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Doc by: Scott Bellware
Shelves: technology
Ironic that this book makes the reader think - think about design and views on life, all at once. An excellent book for stimulating the brain to think and view the world in new ways.
Catherine James
I absolutely love it when non-fiction books don't try to be so heavy in their content, and are able to communicate fascinating material with humour, tact and intelligence, and this book fits the bill to a tee.
I loved the style of writing, and for a book that was required reading for university, came away actually learning something and not feeling like it was a chore to pick it up, I even looked forward to it.

I loved the length too - too many authors seem to love the sound (sight?) of their own
...more
Robin
Jun 12, 2009 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: techie
I had a pact with some fellow web nerds at work to read a book on usability to improve our websites. I chose this one because, like a good website, it had short pages and a lot of white space. I was pleasantly surprised to actually enjoy the content as well as the writing style. It is concise, informative, practical, and humorous. Whereas Jakob Nielsen’s classic usability books are chock-full of statistics and details, this book is a new approach to usability, stripped down to what is practical ...more
Thomas
Jul 24, 2011 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: internet professionals, web users, psychology interest
Shelves: ux-dev
Usability hardly concerns strictly web use. This tidy introduction and exploration on the subject is a great background to many of the buzz words heard in the creative and development team departments. Also, makes many design decisions easy by providing research based and diplomatic responses to many territorial squabbles that arise when sites are designed/redesigned. It provides logical guided procedures for any stakeholder to understand the overall objectives of the website and make business d ...more
Chad Warner
Jun 07, 2011 Chad Warner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: web designers
An excellent introduction to creating usable websites. As the title states, every website’s design and functionality should be so simple that people barely need to think to use it. The book’s 2nd edition is from 2005, so some examples are dated, but the concepts are quite relevant. This was a fun read due to its straightforward style and Krug’s humor.

When I started looking for web design books, Steve Krug’s classic on web usability frequently appeared at the top of most lists, along with Designi
...more
Jesse
Jan 06, 2013 Jesse rated it really liked it
I bought this book because I needed a quick overview on usability testing. It succeeded on that front. I even had no issues skipping to the usability testing chapters, reading those first, and coming back to the rest of the book: each chapter is pretty self-contained.

Steve Krug's book is a classic for a reason. Great overview of a lot of topics, including pointers for where to dig more deeply into usability testing, accessibility considerations, etc. Very high-level, simple, clearly-written advi
...more
Pashmina
Apr 18, 2011 Pashmina rated it really liked it
This book lays out some clear and obviously effective principles of usability that I would definitely look over before tackling interface design. Krug reminds us that ‘ease of use’ is easily the make or break deal for any website. “It’s a fact: People won’t use your web site if they can’t find their way around it.” Here we get proof again, that user experience is the key to any successful type of website.

While some of the stuff may be obvious, or maybe just be obvious to me, I found his style to
...more
Waylon Martinez
Dec 27, 2009 Waylon Martinez rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Beginning or Vet web UI designers
Shelves: programming
This was a great book for a starting point to website UI design. I have been designing websites and web bases applications for years and haven't ever stopped to think about usability, the 1st impression, and how to accomplish these effectively. Before reading this book I though I knew all there was to design, however this book has provided me with some additional needed insight.

This was a quick read, I expected this book to be very lengthy and provide design principles and examples. But what thi
...more
Daniel R.
Feb 02, 2010 Daniel R. rated it really liked it
A no nonsense approach on how to design web sites to be as effective as possible. The second edition adds information on treating users well and designing for accessibility while trimming the focus on how to conduct usability testing. It has been a number of years since I first skimmed this book and I found the changes welcome. My biggest complaint with the book continues to be a lack of a summary or checklist on the high level points with references to where the topic is covered in more detail. ...more
Louise
Oct 17, 2009 Louise rated it it was ok
The book was a short, quick and easy read that can easily be finished on a plane ride. It's in full color with a couple of helpful diagrams, but I mostly found the comics in it annoying and patronizing. A lot of what Krug brings up in the first half seems like common sense, but he does delve deeper into some points, which may be helpful for some.

The most valuable information I found in Don't Make Me Think was the little quizzes in the middle of the book where readers are presented with sample we
...more
Michael Economy
Jul 10, 2008 Michael Economy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a stake in the web game
Recommended to Michael by: otis, zack
Shelves: work-related
I'd bet most people could pick up a thing or two from it no matter how much web experience you have. Also, its a fairly short book, which was good.

Still I think i was thinking it would have been more focused on best practices in web design, and it was a bit broader than that. More of a jumping off point than anything else.
Otis Chandler
Nov 13, 2006 Otis Chandler rated it really liked it
My old roommate Michael gave me this - its kinda 1999 but totally relevant, and a great starter to learn about web UI.
Marko Savić
Mar 05, 2010 Marko Savić rated it it was amazing
I really don't remember when was the last time I read a book in a day. The author himself suggest that this is a book for one longer flight. It's true. I would absolutely agree.

I had borrowed a copy of a book from a college at my work few years ago. I have to say second edition was worth buying. Everybody involved in creating web pages and other user interfaces should gain a lot by only reading this book.

What have I learned? Web pages should be at least self-explanatory if not already self-evid
...more
Mike
Jan 02, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-and-read
So far one of the most elucidating discussions of web usability I've seen. Easy to follow, both anecdotal and evidence-bound, and contains many dozens of insights distilled down to the very nut of the problem. No overlong self-pleasuring discussion of theory or why things should be different than they are - recognizes first and foremost that the best systems give users the easiest path to success, and leaves the "art" of user experience design up to the definition of 'success' (to be struggled o ...more
Laura
Dec 08, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for Programmers with Little Web Usability Experience: I've been developing web pages for around 7 years. The only thing I can say is I can't believe I never researched usability until now. This book definitely opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of the world of web design.

If you are new to web usability, or if you're a "one stop shop" or a "one-man show", I highly recommend this book. If you're new to web development, I HIGHLY recommend this book - I wish I had learned about usability fr
...more
Laurian
Dec 19, 2011 Laurian rated it liked it
Recommends it for: tom panning
Shelves: ux
This was the first book that we read in the UX book club at the company I work at, Next Century. It was suggested by a friend and it seemed like a good first stab at UX for the type of people at my company. This is because it has a lot of pictures, the rules are simple, and the message is clear.

Overall, I would agree with that early assessment. It makes the point of doing usability clear and makes a very clear argument for why it is important.

... However, it had some problems that got under my
...more
J. Pedro Ribeiro
Aug 31, 2011 J. Pedro Ribeiro rated it it was amazing
What comes to your mind when you think about usability in web design? “Less clicks is better”? “Design to the average user”? “Content is king”? “Users leave your website if it doesn’t load in X seconds”? If you take any of these as a rule for your websites then you need to read this book: Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug.

The Book

Although usability is becoming more and more popular among web projects these days, it is still an underrated feature. In this book, Steve Krug explains usability in a
...more
Book Calendar
Sep 11, 2010 Book Calendar rated it really liked it
Don't Make Me Think A Common Sense Approach To Web Usability, Second Edition, Steve Krug-- Review

Don't Make Me Think is a book about web usability. Usability is basically how easy it is too efficiently use a website. It tests how to make a website easier for the average visitor.

This book gives you insights into how to make a website easy to use. The first principle is to make your website as obvious as possible. For example, if the visitor is looking for employment information, it should use the
...more
gargamelscat
Feb 13, 2010 gargamelscat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, compsci
This is a book that if I'd seen it in a bookstore and flipped through it would have stayed where I found it.

Too short, too glossy, type too big, too much whitespace, random snippets seem like obvious commonsense. It couldn't possibly be of value.

But this is one of those cases where my usual flip test of a technical book would have given the wrong outcome and I am fortunate to have got it sight unseen after hearing it recommended in one of the stackoverflow podcasts.

Highly entertaining - the butt
...more
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Personally, I hate the title of this book. It's insulting. When people tell me they don't want to think, I look down upon them. Yes, I'm one of those people. If we don't think, I believe the person should just be turned into an animal. (Yes, my BDSM tendencies are coming through here.) Perhaps the author specifically picked this title to be provocative in order to have people like me read it. While I loathed the title, the information in the book was great.

I am impressed with how it was laid out
...more
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Steve Krug (pronounced “kroog”) is best known as the author of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, now in its second edition with over 300,000 copies in print.
Ten years later, he finally gathered enough energy to write another one: the usability testing handbook Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems.
The books were bas
...more
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“If there's one thing you learn by working on a lot of different Web sites, it's that almost any design idea--no matter how appallingly bad--can be made usable in the right circumstances, with enough effort.” 10 likes
“Don't make me think” 8 likes
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