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Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

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don't make me thinkDon’t Make Me Think by usability guru Steve Krug does an excellent job of simplifying the complex when it comes to website design and performance.  Yes, many tips and tactics seem somewhat obvious but time and time again credible pros miss the mark in optimizing their website designs for maximum performance.

The one takeaway from Don’t Make Me Think that I think I’ll remember for the rest of my life is when Krug talks about a study in decision making that was conducted by looking at fire chiefs.  The group performing the study was curious about a fire chief’s decision making process given the very limited time they had to weigh alternatives.  They believed they would start with a very short list of possible solutions prior to executing a plan.  They were quite surprised by the findings – fire chiefs only ever weigh one alternative before executing a plan!  In other words they formulate a plan on the fly, if the fire chief finds no obvious holes in it they execute and adjust along the way.  In other words, they invest 0 time in weighing alternatives.

Web consumers are somewhat similar.  People to continually weigh alternatives and invest significant time in producing qualitative analysis every time they buy, research or read online.  They drive to a point where the solution is ‘good enough’.  Obviously this varies greatly given the degree of consideration required – downloading a song for $1 from iTunes is a little different than buying a car – but in either case don’t assume a complex decision making process, especially when designing your website or landing page for maximum usability.

You can learn more by picking up a copy of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition (Voices That Matter) at Amazon.com today!

Written by Greg M

July 26, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Books

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