Don't Make Me Think!

Don't Make Me Think (external link), by Steve Krug, is THE book on web usability. It is praised by many web developers as the best book available on practical web usability. Recently, Steve Krug has released a second version of the book, which includes three new chapters. I won't be surprised if this book just flies off of the shelves, as the first edition was very popular.

I have yet to read the book myself, although it is definitely on my to-do list. I checked out the first edition from my library when it first came out, as it was just new in my library and about computers (enough for me to check it out), although I never read the entire book.

Usability has always been an important factor for someone seeking to be a good web designer, although most don't seem to take it as serious as they should. Designers who don't want to "reinvent the wheel" are usually the ones who create "un-usable" layouts. People expect certain things to be in certain places, don't make them look around the page for it. For example, radically different navigation can look cool, but for the typical web user it will become a huge puzzle.

Remember Krug's first rule, "Don't Make Me Think!" If you have to think about something for too long when you're on a web page, then it probably needs some usability improvements. If you cannot find what you're looking for, wonder how to use their search feature, or cannot figure out what to click on - then they have room for improvement.

Take up web usability, take a look at Don't Make Me Think : A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (2nd Edition) (external link).