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I really liked Krug's use of Gary Larson's Farside Comic comparing what we say to dogs and what they actually here. It really did a good job of illustrating his point about how little of a web site users tend to read. He points out that we really only see the hand-full of key words that relate to whatever we're searching for and ignore the rest. I know that, upon reflection, this is certainly what I do. (I'm also starting to think that my website reading conventions are starting to effect my reading ability. I tried to read Consolation of Philosphy by Boethius before decideing to do this and could barely handle it).

I find it interesting to liken websites to billboards rather than pamphlets, but it does make a lot more sense (except that when driving through places like Idaho and Montana I look at billboards a lot longer than I look at websites.) We only really look at websites long enough to click on the link we want (or think we want.) 

I really liked the examples Krugg used to illustrate his points. It was impressive how tiny, subtle changes make things easier to use. From particular text, to the placement of a little red arrow next to a word or even the color of the lines seperating items in a menu, each change made the web site noticably easier to use. All in all, I'd say Krugg was 100% right when he said it's mostly common sense, but "Like a lot of common sense, though, it's not necessarily obvious until after someone's pointed it out to you."   

3 Comments

Maddie Gillespie said:

You make a great point about the fact that people "read" websites in a very different manner than they read literature. Personally, I have both literature-focused and website-focused courses this semester and I sometimes have to stop myself and actually think about my current method of reading! I agree that Krug was right when he pointed out the little quirk about common sense not always being able to see. It's crazy weird how that happens sometimes, but what can ya do? Every now and then you might just have to try and think from the point of view of someone who's had a really bad day, and is as close to brain dead as possible while still breathing on your own.

Anne Williams said:

I think Krug was 100% right too about most of the things he pointed out. I think I put it that he it it right on the nose in my blog. And I don't really compare websites to billboard either and I found that a little odd at first but I think your right that it goes along with the concept that we only look at what we want to look at and notice the big eye catchers like, Free!, Low fat!, Easy to use!
But hey, what can you do? We are Americans.. we want this fast and we want things now.

DavidWilbanks said:

I like the bit about thinking from the view of someone whose "as close to brain dead as possible while still breathing." Unfortunately, examining things from that view seems to be necessary for any medium that has to appeal to any sort of widespread audience. Like the title says "Don't Make Me Think."

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