Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think: Chapter 1 & 2 Summary

Interface Design

In chapter 1 Steve explores the notion that the web is changing and people are changing what they’re expecting from a website. People now expect a website to load fast and to be very user-friendly. He explains the thought pattern that accompanies a user through their browsing experience such as what is this, why is this here, is this a button, where is this taking me? Steve also defines some of what confuses a user like buttons that don’t function or words that function as buttons but aren’t distinguishable from any other information. He points out that all of this information; the design of a website and enabling the users to easily navigate a site is very important since competition is just a few clicks away.

In chapter 2 Steve explains more about how people use the web and for what. He states that people are evolving into information scanners and that we’ve become really good at it. One of the main reasons people use the web for anything is because of it’s speed and convenience and that’s exactly what people want and expect from a website. One key idea in chapter 2 is that people “satisfice,” which is a term coined by Herbert Simon as a cross between satisfying and sufficing in his 157 book Models of Man: Social and Rational. Sufficing, as it relates to web browsers, is drawing from the idea that people do not really take the time to make the best option available but instead take the first reasonable option. And we do so because, as Steve writes, we’re in a hurry, the back button ensures that we can make a different decision, weighing options may not improve our chances, and finally that guessing is just more fun. Chapter 2 continues to illustrate the idea that most people are inherently lazy and when it comes to using the internet most people do not take the time to read the manual, therefore making effective web design ever the more important. And when we find something that works well we’ll stick to it.

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