I’ve just finished reading a well known UX book called “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug.
It’s quite an old book (2005, revised 2009) but many of the principles in it are timeless.
As the book implies, the basic premise behind good UX design is to unburden your website visitors from unnecessary thinking. Whenever a user has to think about your site and how it works, friction occurs; this ultimately diminishes any good will you’ve built with your audience.
In Chapter 7, Steve discusses 5 quintessential questions every website should answer.
UX Question #1- What is this? This question must be answered within the first 3 seconds of a visitor landing on your site (no matter the entry point). Steve discusses the importance of a tag line to answer this question. The examples provided as best case are Amazon’s “Books Music & More” and to a lesser extent, Baby Center’s old tagline, see below…
UX Question #2- What Can I do here? The copy must make the purpose of the website crystal clear. Steve discusses the short blurb and again provides Baby Center as a good example below
UX Question #3- What do they have here? The navigation must tell all about the products, services and/or information your site has to offer; any ambiguity here and you’ve lost them.
UX Question #4- Why should I be here and not somewhere else? This is where your value proposition comes to play. Your site’s landing pages must be able to communicate the value proposition to the users within split seconds. If you fail at that, the competition is one click away.
If you’ve managed to hold on to your site visitor, you still have to answer one final question, and FAST…
UX Question #5- Where do I start? All the elements of your site, including copy, navigation and search functionality should aid your visitor in answering this question.
All in all, great book and well worth the investment in time and money.
If you haven’t already, run to the store now and buy. You can thank me later…