5 Usability Tips from ‘Don’t Make Me Think’
Do you ever come across websites or applications that simply don’t make any sense? You might be searching for interior designing ideas and end up on some realtors website trying to get you to signup on their weekly updates. Or perhaps you might have downloaded antivirus software that just doesn’t show you how to repair your affected files. Well you were not the first one to fall into such confusion and it certainly won’t be the last time. This is a fairly common problem among many website and application developers, when it comes to delivering information for their users.
According to Steve Krug, the author of “Don’t make me think”, you will discover many web usability tips that have helped thousands of people over time change the way they run their online operations. It is a highly recommended book for people who are fairly new to web development and designing as well as a great prep course for advance users on web usability.
You can easily apply his web usability concepts on applications and websites that you visit on a regular basis. We have highlighted a few tips along with examples to give you a glimpse of his insightful thoughts shared in this book.
Tip 1: “Usability means making sure something works well and that a person of average ability or experience can use it for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated.” Steve Krug
Example: There are a growing number of apps that are downloaded every year in Parental Control industry. The intended purpose of such apps is to help parents protect their kids from digital harm. One of the top selling apps in the industry is SecureTeen, which offers exactly what the app is intended for as promised in their package. However, there are no instructions on their website to help first time users, especially for parents who are not as tech savvy as most users. The initial downloading of this app should be explained in an instructional video to clear out whether the app should be installed in parents device or the kids.
Tip 2: “Web applications should explain themselves. As far as humanly possible, when I look at a web page it should be self-evident. Obvious. Self-explanatory.” Steve Krug
Example: In our previous example, we can clearly see what is the intended purpose of the app and it is self-evident in their homepage. The banner image highlights the main idea of the parental control app and header menu further segregate users according to their operating system.
Tip 3: “Don’t make me think. As a rule people don’t like to puzzle over how to do things. If people who build a site, don’t care enough to make things obvious it can erode confidence in the site and its publishers.” Steve Krug
Example: We can compare the success of Google search engine with any other in the industry. One of the reasons of their success is obviously the simplicity of their web page. You enter the website and only see search tool bar. There are no advertisements or category links distracting you from your main purpose to search for answers.
Tip 4: “Don’t lose search. Some people (search-dominant users) will almost always look for a search box as they enter a site. These maybe the same people who look for nearest clerk as soon as they enter a store.” Steve Krug Example: Search feature on a website is very important, especially when you provide a lot of rich-content based information. buzzfeed is a perfect example in this case. They generate and publish large amounts of articles on a daily basis. So they’ve also embedded search tool on the website for visitors to easily find their favorite articles.
Tip 5: “Make it easy to go home. Having a home button in sight at all times offers reassurance that no matter how lost I may get, I can always start over, like pressing a reset button or using a ‘Get out of Jail free’ card.” Steve Krug
Example: You may have observed in eTek Studio website that it is easy to access the home page. You can either click on the logo of website or simply access Home from menubar to return back to the front page at anytime.
So, when you get started with website design and development, be sure to read this laymen guide to web usability and discover best intakes for your projects. You can also get a quick review of your website from our experts by leaving us a message.