Don't make me think about things that I know but don't want to think about right now.

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In Krug's final chapter, where he discusses the two main points of requesting too much personal information and using too much unecessary pizazz, I feel that he successfully wrapped up this interesting and helpful book.

Throughout the book, Krug gives us practical reasons for doing things the way he describes, and most of them deal with making it easier for the user. This chapter hits home on the same ideas. And althought I try to stay away from personalizing and venting in my blog entries, I think this issue would get anyone fired up and talking about it. That's why I like Krug, he brings up simple issues that we may look over, and instead of simply raising the point, he offers solutions and tells us how we should stay away from them.

I basically talked about this in a comment I left on Dani's blog which inspired this portion of my entry. What really gets me going is when people, whether it be some type of service or web site designing, ask you for information that isn't really necessary but they act like it is. For example, I was a part of an organization this past summer (I am going to keep everything very general in order to not expose anyone, or get in trouble myself). For this organization we were required to have certain individuals take surveys. No problem right? Wrong. I totally respect what the surveys were for and the reasons behind why they were given, but quite frankly, some of the questions sucked. It was unbelievable the kinds of information they were asking for. Information that had nothing to do with the reasons for being surveyed. As a person who was required to fill one out, it is extremely frustrating to have to sit there and think about information that I don't really know about myself. Like, how many relatives in my family have had knee problems (just an example I made up?).

People don't want to have to sit there and deal with questions that they don't feel are helping them get to where they want to be. When I'm going through an ATM machine, I don't want to think about how many transactions I made in the last two weeks... I want cash! And when I'm at the grocery store I don't want to sign my signature 50 times before I can get my milk... I'm thirsty! The same principle holds true for people on the web. They want to be able to do what they came for. So keep it simple, keep it smooth, and don't make them think about things they don't want to think about right now. Pretty simple don't you think?

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I hate that when I have to book train tickets or buy something else online, there is a whole two page fill-in-the-blank information form. And of course, what with the multitude of blanks you have to fill in, you'll miss a couple or two. So you hit submit and then see red lettering at the top of the screen, along with little red asterisks next to the required fields. It astounds me how many fields are NOT required.


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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on November 4, 2008 2:11 PM.

Usability Testing, Writing, and Hatred was the previous entry in this blog.

Wikipedia: Helping all people is the next entry in this blog.

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