Where to Begin?
When isn't using humor appropriate? :-) To me, it makes this book much more alive and interesting. I love the dry humor Krug uses to give a synopsis of Oklahoma!
And what did I find useful about the book? I felt relieved that someone feels the same way about the homepage. I have thought that creating a homepage was like using a police baton. You want to gently nudge the user, so they know what direction they should be moving, but if you give them too much direction, it feels like you are poking or beating the user. I always felt like I was not giving enough information, but "Hello! My name is Jed. I am currently taking a college and this is my website about...Use it this way." sounds extremely corney and forced. Thanks to Krug, I now understand the tagline, and how to organize my links. At the top of my next homepage, I am going to put a giant picture of my head along with the tagline "Jed Fetterman, the finest name in fiction."
If there was anything close to the revelation that tabs are art from my last entry, it would probably be what Krug says about the uniqueness of how we all use the web. I never thought about it, but there is no "average" user of anything. We all conform things to our own needs, things don't conform us to their needs. That probably is what makes the internet so popular. The first page that I see when I open up Internet Explorer on my laptop is Seton Hill's website because it is central to everything that I am doing right now, but someone could just as easily set the browser's homepage to USC's website because it suits that person better. Or, dramatic gasp, you could even use a website that is not college-run. And think about how annoying the internet would be if we all had to start at Google, or, even worse, those stupid Microsoft update pages. If would make me crazy if I did not have the freedom to make these choices.
So, I do not think that the point of the usability test is to make a website that forces users to go one direction or leads them down a certain path better; it is more for making the website EASIER for the user to CONFORM THE WEBSITES TO HIS OR HER NEEDS. After all, they are the ones who need (or at least who you want) to use the website, not you. I think that should be the first law of usability.
Come on Jed! Think of a better segue into the EL236 credits.