2 minute read

Preamble: I had the pleasure of reading this famous UX book over the weekend and it was a nice look into the world of UX/UI design and what it means to keep things simple. Worth a read for anyone in the Web business as it’s quite short and approachable. All credit goes to Steve for all these wonderful ideas.

The following is a write-up of my notes!

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited, 3rd Edition


“A person of average (or even below average) ability and experience can figure out how to use the thing to accomplish something without it being more trouble than it’s worth”.

Krug’s first law: “Don’t make me think!”

  • Reduce the cognitive load on the user as much as possible
  • Self-evident > Self-explanatory > Crap

We can scan pages, not read. Users only see what they want to see - they’re trying to accomplish some goal.

We satisfice because we’re in a rush and low cost of being wrong when we guess

  • Use conventions when possible.
  • Visual hierarchies for importance and relations
  • Break sections into clearly defined areas, help user ignore unnecessary load
  • Use headings, proper formatting to know which heading relates to what
    • use bullets with space in between
    • no walls of text
    • Highlight key terms


Keep things as mindless as possible

Omit needless words

  • tells us what’s here
  • How to use the site
  • Confidence in who built it
  • Need Site ID, utilities, search, and sections
  • No need to be as subtle w/visual cues as people often overlook in rush
  • Print out the page and hold it at length and see if you can quickly identify key elts [site id, page name, sections, local nav, you are here indicator, and search]

Needs for good home pages:

  • Site identity and mission
  • Site hierarchy
  • Search
  • Teases
  • Content promos
  • Timely content
  • Questions:
    • What is this? What do they have? What can I do here? Why here and not elsewhere? Where do I get started?
  • Tagline is something that no one else in the world could use except you, 6-8 words


  • Do more and throughout. Focus groups for getting the abstract idea across
  • Interesting to read a transcript of a usability test


  • Makes design even more about constraints vs tradeoffs
  • No hover lol
  • Focus on memorability, and learnability


  • Use large low-contrast type or small high-contrast type