Dont Make Me Think - Book Recommendation

With so many books to read and so little time, every book that I actually do end up reading should be worth my precious little time. Tough sitaution, as practically this isn’t possible with every book. When it comes to fiction recommendations are not very effective. But for technical books recommendations are effective enough for me to completely rely on them. I need a book on HTML/CSS? Ask a friend who is good in this field. Book on algorithms? There’s a friend for that too.

I picked up Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug, based on Abhay Rana’s recommendation. Every time I’d ask him something related to UI, the last line of his reply would always be “Dude! Read Don’t Make Me Think!”. And now that I have read it, I think it is a brilliant book on Usability. Its not specifically aimed at web designers and is suitable for anyone even remotely connected with interface designing.

When I wrote Don’t Make Me Think, my intent was to help people learn to think like a usability expert: to ask the same questions that were in my head when I did a usability review. I believed that much of what I do is just common sense, so with a little instruction people could do a lot of it themselves. – Steve Krug

This book is perfect for beginners. Few lines from the book that I really liked:

  1. People tend to search for terms known to them first as a test before actually using the search to find something.
  2. Imagine that you’ve been blindfolded and locked in the trunk of a car, then driven around for a while and dumped on a page somewhere deep in the bowels of a Web site. If the page is well designed, when your vision clears you should be able to answer these questions without hesitation:
    • What site is this? (Site ID)
    • What page am I on? (Page name)
    • What are the major sections of this site? (Sections)
    • What are my options at this level? (Local navigation)
    • Where am I in the scheme of things? (“You are here” indicators)
    • How can I search?
  3. If you want your users to return to your site then the home page should include some timely content

The book is short. Short enough that you can read it one go if you feel like it. Go get it.

About Shashank Mehta:

Heading product for RazorpayX, building the future of business banking. Early bird (#7) at @Razorpay. Forever hoarse throat thanks to ManUtd.

Follow me on twitter. I don't tweet a lot though. Bummer, right?