Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug offers advice and insight on how to make something more usable. The tips in this book can be applied by any website designer or blogger. Based on what I have learned from this reading, a good website minimizes any questions that could pop up in the user’s mind. If the user has to take a second to think about something, then the experience or information that the website was supposed to offer could be completely hindered. If thinking is necessary, then the creator should make sure it can be figured out as quickly as possible by making the applications self explanatory.
The part of the book that I found most useful was the idea that a webpage is a billboard. The author meant that a user does not read an entire webpage right away; he or she skims it first. Therefore, website creators should keep that in mind. For example, on my food blog, I should use appealing pictures and flashy titles to reel in readers. They are most likely going to scan these quickly and only stop to read the meal that most interests them. It’s also not a good idea to make everything on the page loud. This means that all of my posts shouldn’t be riddled with obnoxious capitalizations, links, highlights, and exclamations!!!
Another useful point that I plan to incorporate into my blog is to keep the word-count as low as possible. The author explained that a text-heavy website turns many people away because it seems too intimidating. As a frequent website user, I completely agree with this tip. By keeping my website posts short and engaging, I hope to increase the likelihood that someone will stay on my site when they open it.
A good website is set up with the user in mind. The creator should consider any question that they could come across during each step. This is so important because just as a frustrated customer storms out of a store, a confused web user will close out of the site. Everything should be obvious to users. In today’s web-world, there is a lot of competition out there. It’s simple to start your own website now, therefore, users have the power and will not think twice about switching to someone else’s site if yours isn’t designed to meet their needs. A good website has clear sections and the user’s desired area can be reached without he or she having to think about it. Furthermore, search and home capabilities are important aspects of a site. The search allows users to quickly get to their topic of interest. Many users look for the search application right away, so a good website should always have one. The option to go back to the home page is also crucial. The home page of a website needs to tell users why they should care enough to remain on the site.
I found Don’t Make Me Think to be an extremely useful tool and I plan to implement it in my future blog posts. Some of the book’s advice sounded so obvious, yet I had never stopped to consider it before. I hope that I can use what I learned to make my blog user-friendlier.