If you’re doing something original or ground-breaking or something very complicated, you have to settle for self-explanatory where it takes a little thought to “get it”—but only a little.
Being an expert in online usability Krug gathered his experience in a wonderful book. This summary of key thoughts will help you to remember most important principles and laws.
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When you’re creating a site, your job is to get rid of the question marks. Users look at a page that doesn’t make them think, thus there are the thought balloons over their head with positive signs. When they’re looking at a page that makes them think, all the thought balloons have question marks in them.
If you want to design effective Web pages, remember users don’t read pages, they scan them because they’re usually in a hurry; they know they don’t need to read everything; they’ve been scanning newspapers, magazines, and books all their lives to find the parts they’re interested in, and they know that it works.
Break up pages into clearly defined areas; it allows users to decide quickly which areas of the page to focus on and which areas they can safely ignore. Users decide very quickly which parts of the page have useful information and then almost never look at the other parts—almost as though they weren’t there.
The largest part people do on the Web is to look for the next thing to click, it’s important to make it obvious what’s clickable and what’s not. When you force users to think about something that should be mindless, you’re squandering the limited reservoir of patience and goodwill that each user brings to a new site.
“Number of clicks to get anywhere” seems like a useful criteria. But over time you will see that what really counts is not the number of clicks it takes users to get to what they want but how hard each click is—the amount of thought required, and the amount of uncertainty about whether they’re making the right choice.