Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited

A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Steve Krug / New Riders / 2014 (3rd Edition) / 216 pages


When I wrote Don’t Make Me Think, my intent was to help people learn to think like a usability expert: to ask the same questions that I have in mind when I’m trying to make something more usable.

I believed that with a little bit of instruction most people could do a lot of what I do themselves, since much of it just seems like common sense once you hear it explained.

It’s sold over 400,000 copies in twenty languages, and people have said many very nice things about it, like this:

After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book.

Jeffrey Zeldman, author of
Designing with Web Standards

And now, after 13 years, I’ve finally taken the leap and done a major update.

Why has it been so popular?
  • It’s short. I wrote it for busy people who don't do usability for a living, so it only covers what you really need to know. You can read it on a long airplane ride.
  • It’s an easy, engaging read. I get email from people saying things like “My father-in-law, who barely uses a computer, picked up my copy and read the whole thing.”
Cartoon of user puzzled by Web page
  • It’s a great introduction for beginners. These days, it’s usually the first book people read about usability.
  • ...and for bosses. A story I hear constantly: “I gave it to my boss. He read it–because it’s short–and finally ‘got’ what I’ve been trying to tell him for years about usability. Then he bought copies for our whole team.”
Who should read it?

Reading the book on a planeDon't ask me. Ask the Amazon reviewer who said:

“Absolutely everyone should read this book. The internet would be a far better place.”

FAQ

How is this different from the 2nd edition?

Good question. I ended up rewriting a lot more than I expected, including a whole new chapter about usability for mobile web sites and apps. And the examples are now from the current century.

I’ve been doing Web design [or development, marketing, etc.] for a long time. Won’t this be too basic for me?

As one Amazon reviewer said:

“If you’re new to web design, you’ll learn TONS; if you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll get a solid refresher and maybe even pick up on a few new things.”

A lot of Web professionals tell me they leaf through it again every time they start a new project, just to remind themselves of all the “common sense” that they tend to forget.

What’s the difference between this book and your other one?

Don’t Make Me Think explains what everyone should know about usability.

Rocket Surgery Made Easy explains how to do your own usability testing.