Dont-make-me-think-second-edition

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Don’t Make Me Think!
a common sense approach to web usability SECOND EDITION

Steve Krug

New Riders Publishing Berkeley, California USA

Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition © 2006 Steve Krug New Riders 1249 Eighth Street Berkeley, CA 94710 510/524-2178 800/283-9444 510/524-2221 (fax) Find us on the Web at www.peachpit.com To report errors,please send a note to errata@peachpit.com New Riders is an imprint of Peachpit, a division of Pearson Education. Editor: Karen Whitehouse Production Editor: Lisa Brazieal Interior Design and Composition: Allison D. Cecil Illustrations by Mark Matcho Farnham fonts provided by The Font Bureau, Inc. (www.fontbureau.com) Notice of Rights All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced ortransmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information on getting permission for reprints and excerpts, contact permissions@peachpit.com. Notice of Liability The information in this book is distributed on an “As Is” basis, without warranty. While every precaution has been taken in thepreparation of the book, neither the author nor Peachpit shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book or by the computer software and hardware products described in it. Trademarks Throughout this book, trademarks are used. Rather than put a trademark symbol in everyoccurrence of a trademarked name, we state that we are using the names in an editorial fashion only and to the benefit of the trademark owner with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade name is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book. ISBN 0-321-34475-8 9 Printed and bound in the United States of America

[ ii ]

FirstEdition To my father, who always wanted me to write a book, My mother, who always made me feel like I could, Melanie, who married me—the greatest stroke of good fortune of my life, and my son Harry, who will surely write books much better than this one whenever he wants to.

Second Edition To my big brother, Phil, who was a mensch his whole life.

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co n t e n t s

P R E FAC EAbout the Second Edition By Roger Black Read me first
Throat clearing and disclaimers

vi xii 2

F O R E WO R D

I N T RO D U C T I O N

guiding principles
CHAPTER 1

Don’t make me think!
Krug’s First Law of Usability

10

CHAPTER 2

How we really use the Web
Scanning, satisficing, and muddling through

20

CHAPTER 3

Billboard Design 101
Designing pages for scanning, notreading

30

CHAPTER 4

Animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Why users like mindless choices

40

CHAPTER 5

Omit needless words
The art of not writing for the Web

44

things you need to get right
CHAPTER 6

Street signs and Breadcrumbs
Designing navigation

50

[ iv ]

co n t e n t s

CHAPTER 7

The first step in recovery is admitting that the Home page is beyond yourcontrol
Designing the Home page

94

making sure you got them right
CHAPTER 8

“The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends”

122

Why most Web design team arguments about usability are a waste of time, and how to avoid them

CHAPTER 9

Usability testing on 10 cents a day
Why user testing—done simply enough—is the cure for all your site’s ills

130

larger concerns and outsideinfluences
CHAPTER 10

Usability as common courtesy
Why your Web site should be a mensch

160

CHAPTER 11

Accessibility, Cascading Style Sheets, and you 168
Just when you think you’re done, a cat floats by with buttered toast strapped to its back

CHAPTER 12

Help! My boss wants me to ________.
When bad design decisions happen to good people

180

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