Our design book recommendation of the week is Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability”. It’s a quick read packed full of digestible principles.
One of the challenges in designing web sites is to make them simple enough for users to quickly find what they’re looking for, but not so simple that they can’t satisfy their need for information. The trick is to get the make the most important information pop. Make it visual and easy to find. Keep good hierarchy on your site and don’t confuse the users with too many equally important calls to action. You will lose them entirely.
You can definitely add creative elements to your navigation and site structure. But try to stick to basic principles as to where navigation goes so people won’t get frustrated.
So much of what Krug covers in his book seems like common sense, but when we get caught up in the content collection and telling the story of our businesses, we get very attached to each piece of information and have a hard time sifting out the unimportant details. Krug says that we write the content thinking “great literature” (or at least “Product brochure”), while the user is looking for a “billboard going by at 60 miles an hour”.
If you want to check out the book, I’d recommend blowing through it in a few hours and then passing it on to your teammates so you can all be on the same page.