Notes on Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think; Revisited - Chapter One

Summary: This chapter was about how to design a user-friendly web page, and why usability matters.

Tips for Better Usability

Why Better Usability is Important

Questions, Reflections and Personal Applications

The best web experiences I have are when shopping for products online. The worst web experiences I have had are when navigating college and workplace web sites. It seems it is never self-explanatory. I have to "muddle through" (to use Krug's term) at exhausting lengths, and I usually end up making a phone call to get the help I need.

Krug's point about questions causing stress, anxiety and frustration for the user was something I could relate to. Sometimes, even if it is obvious to me what I am supposed to click, I am afraid of the finality of it. My most recent example of this was when I was assigned a Blog for a different class. The assignment was to create posts for our blog. When I completed my first post, I knew I was supposed to click the tab that said, "publish." This was obvious, but I was scared of the finality of it. I like to be able to hover over something that looks final and see a message like,"You can always edit or delete this later."

Another example of a time when questions caused some anxiety was also during this new blog creation. The web site asks you to choose the time zone in which you live; however, it asks you to choose a city that is in the same time zone as you. The list of cities was long and cumbersome to scroll through because it was a global list. Once I located my continent, I realized all of the Americas were included which did not reduce the list of cities by much. I expected to find a city from my state, but I couldn't see one. By the time I found a city I recognized, that I knew was in my time zone, I had spent probably 5 minutes. This task should have taken a few seconds.
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