A Common Sense Guide To Web Usability, By Steve Krug
This book rocks. Anyone involved in anything to do with websites (so everyone) will get a lot out of it.
The basic premise is that people are coming to your site to serve their own interests, not yours. They don’t want to spend time trying to “figure it out.”
Fancy design and tricky programming features often get in the way, and unconventional layouts and navigation are often just REALLY not a good idea.
Another main point is that people have strongly held beliefs on what makes a great website. There’s a great diagram of the ideal homepage according to different individuals based on their job descriptions.
The designer likes a sleek and visually appealing site.
The programmer wants cool features and functionality.
The business development person likes lots of space for promos and ads.
And the CEO wants the site to have “PIZZAZ!!”
But these priorities need to get in line behind the needs of the person trying to use the site.
The last few chapters are on usability testing. The author bases his advise on a vast amount of actual, real-life research, and he even tells you how to do it yourself on a budget.
Some additional points are that people don’t read, they scan. They also don’t take the time to find the best option or solution the site may offer. They just click around until they find the first thing that’s “close enough,” or if they don’t find it. See ya!
This book is a quick, non-technical read. It’s entertaining, funny and packed with great advise.