Book recap – Don’t make me think

“Don’t make me think” is a great book for acquiring basic understanding of UI design. I “recap” here my favorite quotes from the books.

  1. we don’t read web, we scan them
  2. we don’t try to figure out how things work, we muddle through
  3. things that are related logically also related visually
  4. web conventions/formats are your friends
  5. make it obvious what is clickable
  6. wide v.s deep site hierarchies tradeoff. but generally, users don’t mind a lot of clicks as long as each click is painless and they have continued confidence that they’re on right track
  7. eliminate instructions entirely by making everything self-explanatory, or as close to it as possible
  8. similarity bwn web navigation and how people find directions in Stores
  9. web navigation conventions, search, home, bookmarks are useful
    1. persistent navigation includes: site id, home, search, utilities (i.e., How to Buy), sections (i.e., News, Products, Downloads)
    2. spell out the scope of search to avoid confusion, e.g., Search for a Book. You can provide search options
  10. every page need a name, needed to be in right place, needs to be prominent and the name is matched what you clicked
  11. showing “you are here” by marker, breadcrumbs (show the path from homepage to where you are) , breadcrumbs should be at top
  12. tabs are good for large sites b/c they are self-evident, hard to miss, clickable…
  13. Trunk test
    • what site is this? site id
    • what page I am on? page name
    • what are the major sections of this site? sections
    • what are my options at this level? local navigation
    • where am I in the scheme of things? you are here
    • how I can search?
  14. Designer vs. developer arguments
    • Moving the discussion away from the realm of what’s right or wrong into the realm of what works or doesn’t work
  15. What do you test?
    1. What do they like/love?
    2. How does it fit into their lives?
    3. What works well?
    4. How hard is it to do key tasks?
    5. Do they get the point of the site?
    6. Does it seem like what they need?
    7. Do they get the navigation?
    8. Can they guess where to find things?
    9. Pay more attention to actions and explanations than opinions as opinions during user tests are notoriously unreliable
  16. Typical tests problems
    1. Users are unclear of the concept
    2. The words they are looking for aren’t there
    3. There is too much going on