Chapter three in Steve Krug’s book, Don’t Make Me Think, talks about being able to quickly comprehend Information in a matter of seconds. The chapter is cleverly titled: Billboard Design 101. He is making reference to the importance of billboards needing to be designed so that they are understood quickly. When many users come to a site, they do not usually come with the intent of actually reading the site, they come ready to scan the page and complete their tasks as quickly as possible. Krug has a couple of suggestions for assisting your user in this. He first suggests working with Hierarchy. Whether it is changing the point size in list items or visually nesting subjects in the same category, hierarchy will provide less thinking for the viewer. Krug also suggests using conventions rather than being completely innovative. Users are more like to click on an icon they are familiar with than something that is foreign to them. Krug also insists making clickable links visually clickable and keeping the noise down by designing a page that is not visually busy.
In Krug’s fourth chapter, Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral, he discusses painless clicks. He states that he doesn’t mind how many clicks it takes to get to the desired page as longs as the clicks are easy and painless. He explains that options given to him that are puzzling make it difficult for him to decide. He wants to have confidence in his clicking and be able to understand quickly what he is doing with no question in he head.
Chapter five, Omit Needless Words, goes into the importance of brevity in the body copy of a site. He encourages designer’s to cut text in half to get the appropriate amount. Designer’s need to eliminate any small talk or unnecessary wording and make things as clear and simple as possible.
I agree with Krug’s first statement about hierarchy. I think giving visual cues of categories and importance is key. However, I slightly disagree with his statements about number of clicks to get to the correct page. I think that the number of clicks should be limited to 3-5. I don’t think many users would return to a site that they had to go through a long process to get the right outcome. I agree with his points to keeping body copy minimal. Wordiness can intimidate the reader and they may choose to skip over the whole section all together.
Sites using these principals:
This site uses minimalism and visually hierarchy to convey information to the viewer.
This site sells golf equipment and has the potential to become content heavy and busy, but with its clean layout it’s easy to navigate.