UX Book Review: Don’t make me think, Revisited- Steve Krug (5 practical takeaways)

Choosing a UX book to read can be a daunting task especially if you do not know how it will impact your work and career. This series aims at quickly summarizing UX books you know of and some you may not have read. We will outline 5 main takeaways from each book, detail how long it takes to read the book and highlight some key reviews. If you find the insights valuable then you can consider buying the book and diving deeper into its material.

Don’t make me think, Revisited by Steve Krug – Quick Summary

A guide to help web designers and developers understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, common sensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject. This book equips you and your team with an understanding of how humans behave, with valuable principles/tips to prevent and address usability issues. Web usability is fundamentally about human psychology, not technology.

Book Reading Time: 6 Hours approximately
Amazon Rating: 4.6 / 5

About the author

Steve Krug (pronounced “kroog”) is best known as the author of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, now in its third edition with over 600,000 copies in print. Ten years later, he finally gathered enough energy to write another one: the usability testing handbook Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. The books were based on the 30+ years he’s spent as a usability consultant for a wide variety of clients like Apple, Bloomberg.com, Lexus.com, NPR, the International Monetary Fund, and many others.

5 Main takeaways from Don’t make me think, revisited

  1. Prioritize Clarity and Simplicity: Krug emphasizes the importance of designing interfaces that are intuitive and easy to understand at a glance. UX designers should strive to minimize cognitive load by eliminating unnecessary elements and providing clear visual cues to guide users through the interface.
  2. Design for Scanning, Not Reading: Users tend to scan web pages rather than reading them thoroughly. Designers should structure content in a scannable format, with concise headings, bullet points, and meaningful visuals to help users quickly find the information they need.
  3. Create Clear Navigation Paths: Navigation should be intuitive and predictable, allowing users to easily navigate through the website or application without confusion. Use familiar patterns, such as placing navigation menus in standard locations, and provide clear labels for links and buttons.
  4. Embrace Usability Testing: Regular usability testing is essential for identifying usability issues and gathering feedback from real users. Conducting usability tests allows designers to uncover pain points, understand user behavior, and make informed design decisions to improve the overall user experience.
  5. Iterate and Refine: UX design is an iterative process. Designers should continuously monitor user feedback, analyze metrics, and iterate on designs based on insights gained from testing and observation. By embracing a culture of continuous improvement, designers can create more effective and user-centric experiences over time.

By incorporating these key takeaways into your design process, you can create interfaces that are user-friendly, intuitive, and optimized for the needs of their target audience.

Most highlighted in the book

“If you can’t make something self-evident, you at least need to make it self-explanatory.”

“The most important thing you can do is to understand the basic principle of eliminating question marks.”

“Clear, well-thought-out navigation is one of the best opportunities a site has to create a good impression.”

Balanced Reviews on this book

“It’s pretty common sense, which he admits outright, but I don’t think it’s anything too revolutionary. His main point is that it’s all common sense, you just don’t think about it in the moment. As a User Experience developer, I found it a little shallow for what I was hoping for. Most everything he says you would learn in design classes (my BFA is graphic design and Web/Digital Media Development, so I’d mostly heard it all before). If you don’t have a background in design or want to be informed when talking with developers, then you can get a lot out of this book. If you’ve had some experience with designing for the web, the author probably isn’t going to share anything you haven’t heard somewhere else.”

“The author does a great job explaining UX at a strategic level. He goes into extensive detail on user testing which is great. He teaches some layout detail, but still at a very high level. This is a great book to get the right mindset going into UX. I would have given the book 5 stars instead of 4 if the author dive deeper into more detail on layout and design details.”

“Includes good information about friendly web design. It does not go into details on HOW to configure those designs, so it assumes you already understand web design basics. I was surprised how fun this book was to read because it has great humor and excellent graphic examples. I read through it in a few hours and have a page full of items to fix on my website now. Glad I finally read it.”

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Calvin Pedzai

Analytical problem solver who enjoys crafting experiences and currently is the Senior UX designer at an awarding winning agency.