Designer Must Reads: Don't Make Me Think Revisited

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Back in May, I wrote a review of the classic UX book by Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think.

After reading the review, Steve was kind enough to send me the updated version, written in late 2013, as named in the title which covers mobile web and app UX too. Mobile is of course very important to every web designer these days, as more and more of us access the web on our various devices. The first edition of the book was penned back in 2000, so as Steve points out, “the world has changed” and “technology got its hands on some steroids”.

Not only do we now access the web on substantially smaller screens, but the web has continued to improve in leaps and bounds, usability itself has gone mainstream and computers are now significantly faster. I could go on, we now have the cloud, for example, which allows us to be able to store files for access from any location.

Timeline showing the release dates of Don't Make Me Think' versus other events.

Timeline showing the release dates of Don’t Make Me Think’ and what’s occurred since.

While Don’t Make Me Think has remained hugely popular in the design community since it was first published, mobile has meant that the time was right for an updated version. As I mentioned in my first review, the book is quite timeless in the advice that it gives, but the additional information will ensure that it remains a firm favorite for many years still to come.

What’s New in ‘Don’t Make Me Think Revisited’?

For the most part, there’s one main change that you will find useful in the updated version of the book and that’s the additional of a chapter on mobile: Chapter 10 – Mobile: It’s not just a city in Alabama anymore - Welcome to the 21st Century – you may experience a slight sense of vertigo.

Phones had been gradually getting smarter for years, gathering in desk drawers and plotting amongst themselves. But it wasn’t until the Great Leap Forward that they finally achieved conciousness.

He is, of course, referencing the introduction of the iPhone in June 2007 and this is relevant as he also points out several times in the book what impact Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive had on UX. Thanks to them, it’s gone mainstream and now, even business people understand its relevance, even if they don’t really get the discipline itself.

With better smartphones, the mobile web and faster processing power came problems though, the first of which being the issue of trying to squeeze a web page onto a tiny screen. Apple came up with the idea of being able to pinch and scroll and a great browser interface, but it was essentially the ability for tiny computers to respond to requests quickly that made it all useful.

Read more on SitePoint.

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