The Absolute Krug
The book has really forced me to rethink the way that I use websites. Given enough time and the fact that I am not trying to work as fast as possible for my Writing for the Internet Class, I actually notice the subtle little nuances in websites. For instance, I noticed that on Wikipedia, no matter what tab you click on, the "article" tab stays at the front (along with the tab that you clicked on). I have become really anal about the tabs after the one section, and yes they are art :-) I also notice some of the little slip-ups in navigation; there has been nothing that I remember, but when it happens I think, "Steve wouldn't like this."
It is also good thought for my term project. I noticed, thanks to the book, that designing anything for computers is less about the designer, and more about the user. When I start to feel myself getting over the top, I will ask myself whether the user will like this or not.
My only criticism is that the book did not focus enough on usability testing itself. Krug focused more on the little nuances that make anything useful, and less on how to find those things out. I still have a lot of questions about how to do a good usability test. The book is designed to sell usability testing ("Do...only as long as it does not keep you from doing more testing..."), but not making your testing better. Personally, I thought he made a good case for testing from the beginning, and I would have liked to see more of the places that I could go with testing.
My final comment has to do with exactly the thing I was I told not to say. If Krug were making another edition of Don't Make Me Think, I would recommend updating some of the website references. I understand that they illustrate some things very well, but it makes me wonder why I should use those techinques if the website is extinct. If I use them now, who is to say that I will not meet the same fate as those before me? I guess that I could meet that fate without doing those things, too.
I would recommend this book to everyone as a light-read that will still make you question the world around you. As we discussed in class, everyone can use usability testing, you just need to figure out how.