Book Review: “Don’t Make Me Think” By Steve Krug

> a reference book for web usability

Ergonomics, e-quality or even accessibility are words reappear in our vocabulary with the emergence of Responsive Webdesign, this practice which consists in designing “adjustable” websites viewable on any device, from PC to tablet, but also by anyone, from novices to professionals. It seems that in the future the main issue for webdesigners and developers will be to direct their work toward “users’ experience”…

The book:

“Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug is considered as a classic in this field, inviting you to optimize the navigation on your website(s) through a dozen of chapters dedicated to establish key points that will prevent your visitors from “thinking” too much, and therefore to leave and go somewhere else – for that’s the matter here!

For visual hook to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), from editorial content to navigation structure through the arguments to give to demonstrate the inconsistency of design requests from your boss, the presented book is for sure an excellent toolbox, and its pertinence will offer you a reading both instructive and didactic, with a fluid and “relaxed” writing style that will make it even more pleasant. And also, that’s the promised made by the author himself, the reading of this book can last no more than an airplane/train journey to give you an effective overview on the issue without however impinging on your professional activities – or else the risk would be to have it left on a bookshelf taking dust…

For who?

That’s simple, for everyone who has to deal with web projects: whether who are a webdesigner, a web developer, a webmaster or even working in SEO, ergonomics and usability are aspects that might be well-thought and integrated throughout the whole conception process, from visual mock-up to updates, all the more so as they represent non-negligible points to improve the visibility of a website in SERPs!

4 good reasons to buy it (or at least to read it!):

> This work does not get outdated despite the fast pace of web evolution, if only thanks to the fact it gives sawy advice rather than practical techniques. Yep, if you noticed the publication of the book already dates back to 2005 (!) – and yet believe me its content is far from being obsolete!

> Throughout all chapters the author’s words come with varied and explicit examples, efficiently illustrated with sometimes a touch of humor. As for me I’ll now always keep in mind that users see web pages “with blurring” – their look only catching words/ideas/notions them came to search for, just like the way the dog Ginger “hears” its master’s blah-blah:

> This book will teach you to look at web pages differently, to sharpen your eye as a user – particularly as it offers a few short exercises to do on your own and followed by answer keys. That way you’ll learn to spot out strengths and weaknesses of websites you are browsing, allowing you to improve your critical eye as a professional, then using your own deductions for these observations in your work.

> Easily learn to set up your own usability tests with the available means, and thus make only very beneficial modifications to your website – stop wasting time developing for peanuts.

My view:

Well if you hadn’t understood it yet… I like it! I don’t know about you, but this book might raise some vocations for this multi-faceted profession of usability web that we discover throughout the pages… With “Don’t Make Me Think” you’ll have between your hands a book to devour for refining your vision of webdesign, and then to read bit by bit when the need arises! So don’t hesitate anymore, and remember that users might definitely be the chore of the creation and development process of a website: “work for humans, not for bots“!

PS: don’t forget to give a look to Steve Krug’s website “Advanced Common Sense”: <


This post is available in French version on Webmarketing & Co’m, at the following address:

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