SEL Books: TK5105.888 .K78 2000
I confess an interest in usability sparked by my previous experience as a technical writer. I developed print and online help for software, and I wanted to understand how best to organize help so that people can actually use it—can actually (gasp!) find what they need.
But, but, BUT! I want to emphasize that usability is relevant to everyone who creates anything—not just a Web page or a product, but also a sign, even an email. How are you going to ensure that people are going to see what they need to see. People skim email. How do you get them to focus on the important parts?
Usability books can help you to think about design in a different way, to flip around your viewpoint so that you think about how the user interacts with what you produce. Along with Donald Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things, I recommend Don’t Make Me Think to just about everyone, because they’re both directed toward the general public.
Krug’s book is a quick read. It is well-organized and broken up into small, easy-to-digest chunks. In other words, he applies his design ideas to his own book, thus providing not only good information but a good example to follow.
Don’t Make Me Think really does make me think, but in a good way.