Summary : Don't make me think(revisited) - Steve Krug

1. If something requires a large investment of time—or looks like it will—it’s less likely to be used.

2. If something is usable—whether it’s a Web site, a remote control, or a revolving door—it means that A person of average (or even below average) ability and experience can figure out how to use the thing to accomplish something without it being more trouble than it’s worth.

3. As far as is humanly possible, when I look at a Web page it should be self-evident. Obvious. Self-explanatory. Don't make me think.

4. All kinds of things on a Web page can make us stop and think unnecessarily. Take names, for example. Typical culprits are cute or clever names, marketing-induced names, company-specific names, and unfamiliar technical names.

5. FACT OF LIFE #1: We don’t read pages. We scan them. One of the very few well-documented facts about Web use is that people tend to spend very little time reading most Web pages. Instead, we scan (or skim) them, looking for words or phrases that catch our eye.

6. FACT OF LIFE #2: We don’t make optimal choices. We satisfice. In reality, though, most of the time we don’t choose the best option—we choose the first reasonable option, a strategy known as satisficing.

7. FACT OF LIFE #3: We don’t figure out how things work. We muddle through. Faced with any sort of technology, very few people take the time to read instructions. Instead, we forge ahead and muddle through, making up our own vaguely plausible stories about what we’re doing and why it works.

8. Design for scanning :

  • Take advantage of conventions  - One of the best ways to make almost anything easier to grasp in a hurry is to follow the existing conventions 
  • Create effective visual hierarchies  - A good visual hierarchy saves us work by preprocessing the page for us, organizing and prioritizing its contents in a way that we can grasp almost instantly.
  • Break pages up into clearly defined areas  - Dividing the page into clearly defined areas is important because it allows users to decide quickly which areas of the page to focus on and which areas they can safely ignore.
  • Make it obvious what’s clickable  
  • Eliminate distractions  
  • Format content to support scanning - Use plenty of headings. Keep paragraphs short. Use bulleted lists.  Highlight key terms.

9. Don’t make me think! KRUG’S FIRST LAW OF USABILITY

10. It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice. —KRUG’S SECOND LAW OF USABILITY

11. Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left. —KRUG’S THIRD LAW OF USABILITY

12. The one thing you can’t afford to lose in the shuffle—and the thing that most often gets lost—is conveying the big picture. As quickly and clearly as possible, the Home page needs to answer the four questions I have in my head when I enter a new site for the first time:

  • What is this?
  • What do they have here?
  • What can I do here?
  • Why should I be here and not somewhere else?

13. Nothing beats a good tagline!™ A tagline is a pithy phrase that characterizes the whole enterprise, summing up what it is and what makes it great.

14. Usability tests are about watching one person at a time try to use something (whether it’s a Web site, a prototype, or some sketches of a new design) to do typical tasks so you can detect and fix the things that confuse or frustrate them.

15. Do-It-Yourself Testing:

  • Primary purpose is to identify the most serious issues. You can find more problems in half a day than you can fix in a month.
  • One morning a month includes testing, debriefing and deciding what to fix 
  • Three participants - And three users are very likely to encounter many of the most significant problems related to the tasks that you’re testing.
  • Recruit loosely, if necessary. Doing frequent testing is more important than testing actual users
  • A 1-2 page summarising decisions made during team's debriefing.

16. After each test session, list the three most serious usability problems you noticed.

17. What happens during a typical one-hour testing:

  • Welcome (4 mins) - You begin by explaining how the test work so the participants knows what to expect.
  • The questions (2 mins). Next you ask the participant a few questions about themselves. This helps put them at ease and gives an idea of how computer-savvy they are.
  • The Home page tour (3 mins). Then you open the Home page of the site you’re testing and ask the participant to look around and tell you what they make of it. This will give you an idea of how easy it is to understand your Home page and how much the participant already knows your domain.
  • The tasks (35 mins). This is the heart of the test: watching the participant try to perform a series of tasks (or in some cases, just one long task). Again, your job is to make sure the participant stays focused on the tasks and keeps thinking aloud. If the participant stops saying what they’re thinking, prompt them by saying—wait for it—“What are you thinking?” (For variety, you can also say things like “What are you looking at?” and “What are you doing now?”)
  • Probing (5 mins). After the tasks, you can ask the participant questions
  • Wrapping up (5 mins). Finally, you thank them for their help, pay them, and show them to the door.