Don´t make me think – approach to web usability


I’ve decided today to write a few words about making better websites and what you should think of while making decisions about organizing, adding or creating some elements of your web and especially how user is generaly thinking about websites.

„Don’t make me think”
 by Steve Krug was the first book I’ve read about usability while making websites. It was some kind of breakdown point in my career because I started a journey as a UI/UX Designer then in another company. It’s really suprising how actual this book is even today after 5 years it was released.

“Don’t make me think” is some kind of bible for those who’s dealing with interaction design. If you want to design effective websites, you can’t even for a moment forget about 3 facts of the way users are using the Internet as a medium.

1. We’re not reading websites – we used to scan it.

Noone will be reading your epos you’ve just written. We used to scan pages to find keywords we’re interested in. Those keywords are highly related with the things we are thinking about in this moment. Of course everyone react on the keywords which are culturally cultivated as: sex, for free, sale or even your own name.

2. We don’t make optical choices. We satisfice.

It means that user used to choose the first option which make sense. We don’t browse all website to find the information we are looking for. What more, we don’t compare things, it’s a quick decision – if there’s a highly propability to find my information in this link, I’ll click on it.

3. We don’t think how some things are working. We just cope with that.

Only a few people used to read instruction. We are all using the functionality which has been released intuitively. There is a good example how users are using a search box on Yahoo. They paste an URL address into an input from search box to visit the website they are interested in. They don’t really want to search for it but to visit. It’s the way how they cope somehow with the Internet and if they’ll find a solution for that they’ll keep using it.

Designing good website means – don’t make user think. Use hierarchy – what’s more or less important on your website, make contrasts to catch user’s eye, omit needless words, group similar information in categories, use breadcrumbs to inform user where exactly is he, use as much space as necessary – remember that less is more.


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