Click here to Download Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book by Steve Krug Language English having PDF Size 9.4 MB and No of Pages 242.
It’s always interesting to watch designers and developers observe their first usability test. The first time they see a user click on something completely inappropriate, they’re surprised. (For instance, when the user ignores a nice big fat “Software” button in the navigation bar, saying something like, “Well, I’m looking for software, so I guess I’d click here on ‘Cheap Stuff’ because cheap is always good.”
Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book by Steve Krug
|Name of Book||Don’t Make Me Think|
|PDF Size||9.4 MB|
|No of Pages||242|
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The user may even find what he’s looking for eventually, but by then the people watching don’t know whether to be happy or not. The second time it happens, they’re yelling “Just click on ‘Software’!” The third time, you can see them thinking: “Why are we even bothering?” And it’s a good question: If people manage to muddle through so much, does it really matter whether they “get it”?
The answer is that it matters a great deal because while muddling through may work sometimes, it tends to be inefficient and error-prone. Occasionally, time spent reinventing the wheel results in a revolutionary new rolling device. But usually it just amounts to time spent reinventing the wheel.
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If you’re going to innovate, you have to understand the value of what you’re replacing (or as Dylan put it, “To live outside the law, you must be honest”), and it’s easy to underestimate just how much value conventions provide. The classic example is custom scrollbars. Whenever a designer decides to create scrollbars from scratch—usually to make them prettier.
The results almost always make it obvious that the designer never thought about how many hundreds or thousands of hours of fine tuning went into the evolution of the standard operating system scrollbars. If you’re not going to use an existing Web convention, you need to be sure that what you’re replacing it with either (a) is so clear.
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And self-explanatory that there’s no learning curve—so it’s as good as the convention, or (b) adds so much value that it’s worth a small learning curve. My recommendation: Innovate when you know you have a better idea, but take advantage of conventions when you don’t. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not in any way trying to discourage creativity.
I love innovative and original Web design. One of my favorite examples is Harlem.org. The whole site is built around Art Kane’s famous photo of 57 jazz musicians, taken on the steps of a brownstone in Harlem in August 1957. Instead of text links or menus, you use the photo to navigate the site.
We all parse visual hierarchies every day, but it happens so quickly that the only time we’re even vaguely aware that we’re doing it is when we can’t do it—when the visual cues (or absence of them) force us to think. A good visual hierarchy saves us work by preprocessing the page for us, organizing and prioritizing its contents in a way that we can grasp almost instantly. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book
But when a page doesn’t have a clear visual hierarchy—if everything looks equally important, for instance—we’re reduced to the much slower process of scanning the page for revealing words and phrases and then trying to form our own sense of what’s important and how things are organized. It’s a lot more work.
Parsing a page with a visual hierarchy that’s even slightly flawed—where a heading spans things that aren’t part of it, for instance—is like reading a carelessly constructed sentence (“Bill put the cat on the table for a minute because it was a little wobbly”. Much page scanning consists of looking for key words and phrases.
Formatting the most important ones in bold where they first appear in the text makes them easier to find. (If they’re already text links, you obviously don’t have to.) Don’t highlight too many things, though, or the technique will lose its effectiveness. If you really want to learn about making content scannable (or about anything related to writing for screens in general), run. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book
Do not walk, to an Internet-connected device and order Ginny Redish’s book Letting Go of the Words. And while you’re at it, order a copy for anyone you know who writes, edits, or has anything to do with creating digital content. They’ll end up eternally indebted to you. Web designers and usability professionals have spent a lot of time over the years debating how many times you can expect users to click.
Or tap to get what they want without getting too frustrated. Some sites even have design rules stating that it should never take more than a specified number of clicks (usually three, four, or five) to get to any page in the site. On the face of it, “number of clicks to get anywhere” seems like a useful metric.
But over time I’ve come to think that what really counts is not the number of clicks it takes me to get to what I want (although there are limits), but rather how hard each click is—the amount of thought required and the amount of uncertainty about whether I’m making the right choice. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book
In general, I think it’s safe to say that users don’t mind a lot of clicks as long as each click is painless and they have continued confidence that they’re on the right track—following what’s often called the “scent of information.”1 Links that clearly and unambiguously identify their target give off a strong scent that assures users that clicking them will bring them nearer to their “prey.”
Ambiguous or poorly worded links do not. But on the Web, your feet never touch the ground; instead, you make your way around by clicking on links. Click on “Power Tools” and you’re suddenly teleported to the Power Tools aisle with no traversal of space, no glancing at things along the way.
When we want to return to something on a Web site, instead of relying on a physical sense of where it is we have to remember where it is in the conceptual hierarchy and retrace our steps. This is one reason why bookmarks—stored personal shortcuts—are so important, and why the Back button is the most used button in Web browsers. It also explains why the concept of Home pages is so important. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book Download
Home pages are—comparatively—fixed places. When you’re in a site, the Home page is like the North Star. Being able to click Home gives you a fresh start. This lack of physicality is both good and bad. On the plus side, the sense of weightlessness can be exhilarating and partly explains why it’s so easy to lose track of time on the Web—the same as when we’re “lost” in a good book.
On the negative side, I think it explains why we use the term “Web navigation” even though we never talk about “department store navigation” or “library navigation.” If you look up navigation in a dictionary, it’s about doing two things: getting from one place to another, and figuring out where you are.
I think we talk about Web navigation because “figuring out where you are” is a much more pervasive problem on the Web than in physical spaces. We’re inherently lost when we’re on the Web, and we can’t peek over the aisles to see where we are. Web navigation compensates for this missing sense of place by embodying the site’s hierarchy, creating a sense of “there.” Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book Download
Navigation isn’t just a feature of a Web site; it is the Web site, in the same way that the building, the shelves, and the cash registers are Sears. Without it, there’s no there there. The moral? Web navigation had better be good. This is what I call the Big Bang Theory of Web Design. Like the Big Bang Theory, it’s based on the idea that the first few seconds you spend on a new Web site or Web page are critical.
We know now from a very elegant experiment (search for “Attention Web Designers: You Have 50 Milliseconds to Make a Good First Impression!”) that a lot happens as soon as you open a page. For instance, you take a quick look around (in milliseconds) and form a number of general impressions: Does it look good?
Is there a lot of content or a little? Are there clear regions of the page? Which ones attract you? The most interesting thing about the experiment was that they showed that these initial impressions tended to be very similar to the impressions people had after they actually had a chance to spend time on the page. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book Download
In other words, we make snap judgments, but they tend to be a pretty reliable predictor of our more reasoned assessments. This is not to say that our initial understanding of things is always right. In fact, one of the things I’ve seen most often in usability tests is that people form ideas about what things are and how they work which are just wrong.
Then they use these first bits of “knowledge” to help interpret everything they see. If their first assumptions are wrong (“This is a site for ____”), they begin to try to force-fit that explanation on to everything they encounter. And if it’s wrong, they’ll end up creating more misinterpretations. If people are lost when they start out, they usually just keep getting…loster.
This is why it’s so crucial that you get them off on the right foot, making sure that they’re clear on the big picture. Don’t get me wrong: Everything else is important. You do need to impress me, entice me, direct me, and expose me to your deals. But these things won’t slip through the cracks; there will always be plenty of people—inside and outside the development team—seeing to it that they get done. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book Free
All too often, though, no one has a vested interest in getting the main point across. After each round of tests, you should make time as soon as possible for the team to share their observations and decide which problems to fix and what you’re going to do to fix them. I recommend that you debrief over lunch right after you do the tests, while everything is still fresh in the observers’ minds.
Order the really good pizza from the expensive pizza place to encourage attendance.) Whenever you test, you’re almost always going to find some serious usability problems. Unfortunately, they aren’t always the ones that get fixed. Often, for instance, people will say, “Yes, that’s a real problem. But that functionality is all going to change soon, and we can live with it until then.”
Or faced with a choice between trying to fix one serious problem or a lot of simple problems, they opt for the low-hanging fruit. I, for one, was glad to welcome our tiny, time-wasting overlords. I know there was a time when I didn’t have a powerful touch screen computer with Internet access in my pocket, but it’s getting harder and harder to remember what life was like then. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book Free
And of course it was about this same time that the Mobile Web finally came into its own. There had been Web browsers on phones before, but they—to use the technical term—sucked. The problem had always been—as the Genie aptly put it—the itty-bitty living space. Mobile devices meant cramped devices, squeezing Web pages the size of a sheet of paper into a screen the size of a postage stamp.
There were various attempts at solutions, even some profoundly debased “mobile” versions of sites (remember pressing numbers to select numbered menu items?) and, as usual, the early adopters and the people who really needed the data muddled through. But Apple married more computer horsepower (in an emotionally pleasing, thin, aesthetic package—why are thin watches so desirable?
With a carefully wrought browser interface. One of Apple’s great inventions was the ability to scroll (swiping up and down) and zoom in and out (pinching and…unpinching) very quickly. (It was the very quickly part—the responsiveness of the hardware—that finally made it useful.) For the first time, the Web was fun to use on a device that you could carry with you at all times. Don’t Make Me Think PDF Book Free
With a battery that lasted all day. You could look up anything anywhere anytime. It’s hard to overestimate what a sea change this was. Of course, it wasn’t only about the Web. Just consider how many things the smartphone allowed you to carry in your pocket or purse at all times: a camera (still and video, and, for many people, the best one they’d ever owned. A GPS with maps of the whole world, a watch, an alarm clock, all of your photos and music, etc., etc.