I had previously been blogging about this book.
I like the way Steve Krug uses the analogy of Sears department store signs and clerks to web navigation and search. He also discusses how important these are to retention and giving you a sense as to where you are in a site.
Web navigation conventions are very important in making users comfortable with your site and able to navigate without thinking. He lists a number of those conventions. Good site branding plays a psychologically calming role, as well as good page naming approaches. He also explained why having that home link is so important – effectively acting as a reset button for the user when lost.
He talks about effective ways to indicate where the user is, the why of breadcrumbs, and finally why tabs, used properly (such as with Amazon), is such an effective metaphor.
He goes into great depth on the home page. Before this, I really did not appreciate all a home page is, how it differs from the rest of the site, and why it is so important to get right. There are numerous goals one is trying to accomplish with a home page, all of which must balanced. As I am currently working on refining someone’s web-site (starting with the home page), it gives me concrete criteria to judge the page against, refine, and then repeat this process until I get it right.
Finally, he kills the myth of the “typical user” and discusses increasing or decreasing good will in terms of interacting with your web site.
What I like about this book is that it gives you a more quantitative way to look at the web sites you are creating, as opposed to it “just feeling right”. Yet it does not simplify to the silliness of “only 2 clicks” – you also have to apply thought on top of the criteria.
To be honest, I struggled writing this section up because I want to convey all the notes I captured from this book, but what would be left? For more details, buy the book – it’s worth it!!!!