The First Law Of Usability
Kinyanjui Wangonya Sep 9
Krug's first law of usability: Don't make me think!
If you want to make your app or site easy to use, don't make people think. As far as humanly possible, make it self-evident. Obvious. Self-explanatory.
A user with absolutely no previous knowledge or interest on your site should be able to take a first look and think, "Oh, its a __________. Ok, there's the _______. And that's a __________. Here's the thing that I want..."
The moment the user thinks, "But how do I __________? Now, where's the _______? Is this a __________?" then you're making them think and chances are, if there's a similar site or app, they won't be staying on yours very long.
Every question mark adds to the users cognitive workload, distracting them from the task at hand, and no one wants that.
Thinking vs Not thinking
Things that make us think
Links and buttons that aren’t obviously clickable
Making every page or screen self-evident is like having good lighting in a store: it just makes everything seem better
- get rid of all the question marks
- design such that the average user “gets it” without having to think about it
- if you can’t make something self-evident (i.e not needing to be demonstrated or explained; obvious), you at least need to make it self-explanatory (easily understood)
Next Chapter: How we really use the web
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