Finally, I saved some time to read this very useful and quite short book! This book of Steve Krug, web usability expert and consultant, is a nice way to find simple tips to check you website with fresh eyes and easily pinpoint what should be improved and how final users may think it’s improvable (user-oriented)! And also, it has great guidelines for a revamp or website creation.
The subheadline of this book “A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” is fully adequate to what it is :). It’s mostly basic stuff but most of those basics are so basic that we tend to overfly them. Reading this book, remind me 2 principles : “Back to the Basics” & “Keep it simple, s“.
In this first article about this book, I’ll go through what I think should be remembered from the first 6 chapters (half of the entire book) in 10 points. Sorry if sometimes, it feels pretty obvious but nevertheless even the obvious is good to be remind of!
Knowing that when we/people use the web:
- ~ People scan web page and do not read all the content of a web page
- ~ People are looking for keyword because we (people) know we dont need to read everything we are just reaching for what we are looking for
- ~ When browsing, people dont search for the best option but for the most reasonable option
- ~ We muddle through as we don’t care about understding, we care about getting to our point
Here are my 10 usabilty guidelines:
- 1. Copy, Call-to-action, Headline… : Make it obvious, self evident or at leat self explanatory!
- 2. Create a clear visual hierarchy: the more important = the more proeminent
- 3. Create a clear visual hierarchy: things related logically are related visually (color, font…)
- 4. Use conventions: make it obvious that a call-to-action is clikable | Keep the visual noise down
- 5. No needless word get rid of 3/4 of your content
- 6. Navigation: give the user something to hold on. Good navigation give us confidence in the website builder
- 7. Follow the conventions: Persistent navigation must be including return home, search box, login, category…
- 8. Follow the conventions: This persistent navigation should be everywhere exept homepage & checkout
- 9. Every page need a name, the name should be the same as the link which take the user on the page or at least match maximum keyword
- 10. Exercise… Quick test for a good navigation: At a glance on your pages, Answer to:
– What’s the site id (logo)
– On which page am I (page name)
– What are the major section of the website
– What are my navigation option at this level
– How can I search
If you want to go deeper, and you should, read this book: Don’t Make Me Think – A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. And you can also wait for Part 2 of this article!