I constantly run across websites that are wordy and difficult to navigate. I wonder why a company would decide to take that approach. It pushes people to move on to other websites, hurting the company’s bottom line. In addition, I see websites constantly clutter and provide too much information. I thought I was the only person who disliked this approach. I prefer action words, not tired websites that read like a novel.
With all of that said, I appreciate the points made by Steve Krug in “Don’t Make Me Think.” After all, the point of technology is to simplify your life—not complicate it.
Keeping similar points together and thinking of your website as a billboard people are driving by at 60 mph, forces a publisher to cut out the excess words/images and focus. In other words, trim the fat. This is the best piece of advice I can offer someone about Krug’s book.
I also appreciated the length and writing style of the book. Krug practices what he preaches. The fact that he offers the information in a compact and simple manner helps the reader to not only stay engaged and easily digest the material, but more importantly, apply the knowledge. Information in this sense is only useful if the reader can easily apply the knowledge gained.
Usability is crucial, according to Krug. He breaks down the attributes of usability toward the beginning of the book. He defines the attributes as: useful, learnable, memorable, effective, efficient, desirable and delightful. I agree with his definition and because his book follows the same principal, it makes his argument credible.
The one criticism I have for Krug is his discussion of the finite capacity of the human brain. That statement is a bit limiting and can turn-off the reader. It almost happened with me. Maybe a different approach in that segment would have been to discuss the availability of time in a fast-paced world. That is something people can relate to and get the reader to continue reading.
Overall, the book offers information that the reader can implement immediately, making it very effective, efficient, useful, learnable, memorable, desirable and I must say, delightful. The ability to immediately implement information and improve a website—as well as seeing the immediate impact of implementing the information, whether financially or increasing popularity—would in fact, be delightful.
Keeping the information simple, action-oriented and useful for your reader is the way to go!