Monday, 28 February 2011

Useability "Rule number one"

This past week for digital collaborative practice I have been looking into usability to understand how this may affect the design of my personal website.

In Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think” (2006) he explains that his first rule of usability is simply, don’t make me (the user) think. He explains that a user who accesses a website should be able to access what they want without having to expand their thinking capacity to access it. In other words the website content and navigation should be clear so that the user is not baffled with questions on how they can access the content they want.

An example of this is websites that search for books. This image below is from browns books online shop. Notice the search engine in that if the user wishes to search for a book (in the example World War 2) one has to think how they want to search for the book.

This make the user think of whether they need to search for a paperback, hardback, e-book, etc when all they want to do is find books relating to World War 2. Amazon’s version of this is simpler in that the user simply selects “books” from the menu and can search straight away making it simple for one to search the content they need.

Thought one may see this as something small and minor, it should be kept in mind that the competition are only one click away and that if your website frustrates users then they will go somewhere else.

Considering this my website should be functional and useable for users to access content whether it is by shortening the amount of pages or highlighting used on click-able buttons. To make the user think less is a rule that must be taken into consideration.


Krug, S. (2006) Don’t Make Me Think a common sense approach to web usability. 2nd ed. California: New Riders Publishing.

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