Steve Krug

Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition

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    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Think about your own experience: the sites you enjoy using. Is it because they’re “flashy,” or because they have content you want or need? Can you name a site that has content that’s interesting or useful to you that you don’t use because it’s not visually interesting enough?
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Most of the time on the Web, people don’t want to be engaged; they just want to get something done, and attempts to engage them that interfere with their current mission are perceived as annoying, clueless, and the worst kind of hucksterism. And attempts to add sizzle almost always get in their way.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Screen-reader users scan with their ears. Most blind users are just as impatient as most sighted users. They want to get the information they need as quickly as possible. They do not listen to every word on the page—just as sighted users do not read every word. They “scan with their ears,” listening to just enough to decide whether to listen further. Many set the voice to speak at an amazingly rapid rate.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Resist the impulse to add things. When it’s obvious in testing that users aren’t getting something, most people’s first reaction is to add something, like an explanation or some instructions.
    Very often, the right solution is to take something (or things) away that are obscuring the meaning, rather than adding yet another distraction.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    As a rule, you’ll always get more revealing results if you can find a way to observe users doing tasks that they have a hand in choosing. It’s much better, for instance, to say “Find a book you want to buy, or a book you bought recently” than “Find a cookbook for under $14.” When people are doing made-up tasks, they have no emotional investment in it, and they can’t use as much of their personal knowledge.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Nothing beats a live audience reaction. One reason why the Marx Brothers’ movies are so wonderful is that before they started filming they would go on tour on the vaudeville circuit and perform scenes from the movie, doing five shows a day, improvising constantly and noting which lines got the best laughs. Even after they’d settled on a line, Groucho would insist on trying slight variations to see if it could be improved.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end. Most people assume that testing needs to be a big deal. But if you make it into a big deal, you won’t do it early enough or often enough to get the most out of it. A simple test early—while you still have time to use what you learn from it—is almost always more valuable than a sophisticated test later.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    The point is, it’s not productive to ask questions like “Do most people like pulldown menus?” The right kind of question to ask is “Does this pulldown, with these items and this wording in this context on this page create a good experience for most people who are likely to use this site?”
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Prominent but terse Welcome blurb. The words Why, How, and Plus are used cleverly to make it into a bulleted list so it doesn’t look like one long, imposing block of text.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Here’s how you perform the trunk test:
    Step 1 Choose a page anywhere in the site at random, and print it.
    Step 2 Hold it at arm’s length or squint so you can’t really study it closely.
    Step 3 As quickly as possible, try to find and circle each item in the list below. (You won’t find all of the items on every page.)
    Here’s one to show you how it’s done.
    CIRCLE:
    1. Site ID
    2. Page name
    3. Sections and subsections
    4. Local navigation
    5. “You are here” indicator(s)
    6. Search
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    The standard needs to be that these elements pop off the page so clearly that it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking closely or not. You want to be relying solely on the overall appearance of things, not the details.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Happy talk is like small talk—content free, basically just a way to be sociable. But most Web users don’t have time for small talk; they want to get right to the beef. You can—and should—eliminate as much happy talk as possible.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    When I look at most Web pages, I’m struck by the fact that most of the words I see are just taking up space, because no one is ever going to read them. And just by being there, all the extra words suggest that you may actually need to read them to understand what’s going on, which often makes pages seem more daunting than they actually are.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    On most pages, we’re really only interested in a fraction of what’s on the page. We’re just looking for the bits that match our interests or the task at hand, and the rest of it is irrelevant.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    We’re thinking “great literature” (or at least “product brochure”), while the user’s reality is much closer to “billboard going by at 60 miles an hour.”
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    Making pages self-evident is like having good lighting in a store: it just makes everything seem better. Using a site that doesn’t make us think about unimportant things feels effortless, whereas puzzling over things that don’t matter to us tends to sap our energy and enthusiasm—and time.
    ☁️ ursula ☁️has quoted4 years ago
    There’s a good usability principle right there: if something requires a large investment of time—or looks like it will—it’s less likely to be used.
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