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October 23, 2008

Blindfolding the Farmer and the Cowman

As we continue reading Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think," I love the book more and more. First off, I love the catchy titles that Krug came up with for each chapter and his clear and clever writing style that makes getting through this book easy...maybe even fun.

In chapter seven and eight, Krug talks about the home page. The home page is hands down, my favorite page to make because it gives your site its identity. But I like the examples that Krug gives because when (if) I'm ever working to make a company's website - I'll have to be able to work with other employees to make it come together - which can be hard since everyone might have different agendas and different ideas for how the company should be run and how the site should look.

Clearly could pose a problem, but I'm sure that I'd be able to handle it.


I think Krug's discussion of conflicts between web designers was also a nice transition into a detailed discussion of usability testing (which, surprise surprise, is what the next chapter is about). Although I saw the logic of usability testing when it was first introduced in class, Krug's ideas gave me a more practical and concrete background for its use. The course reading on Tips for Usability testing was also helpful; I was able to see how usability testing extends to all genres. It's not just a web thing, you can test anything (in theory I guess) with its users and benefit from it.

Jackie - I like the idea of being able to test everything for usability. This notion had been sitting somewhere back in my subconscious, just waiting for someone to say it outloud.

What would a world be like if we constantly tested things for their usability and the people who made them made changes? Would we have better roads? Would our world have any stability and permanance? Would we be able to stop poverty in Africa by testing how we can better distribute food, education, water, and medicine?

I thought the same thing about the corporate world, and creating a website for it. I thought that it was so much better than Kilian's book because instead of just saying that working with a group of designers will ruin your site, Krug actually gave tips for dealing with these problems. It probably comes as a side effect of working in the field of usability; Krug has to prove to his clients the reason that they should take out the things the spent a lot of time and effort creating. And probably have grown emotionally attached to also.

Thinking about this makes me feel like a "grown-up." Someday, if I'm in this position I would have to step up and make some big decisions, even things that may be hard to do. It's like revising, sometimes it's tough to cut something out that you put so much work into.

I feel like this book does a much better job than Kilian's for the corporate world as well.

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