After reading Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug, I feel like I have a solid grasp on what makes a great website. Before reading the book, I navigated websites without thinking about the “behind the scenes” aspects. For example, I never thought about how difficult it is for web designers to come up with a creative, usable web page. I also never thought about website “conventions” and I took them for granted. In my opinion, web page design and accessibility are the most important factors for creating a great website.
Web page design is important for many reasons. For example, if I go to a website I want to be able to easily understand it. The page should have a good visual hierarchy. I think the title of the page should be in a large font with the subtitle in a smaller font, that way I can gauge my location in the website. I feel confident in my ability to find things on a page when the site has a good visual hierarchy. I also like when subtitles are nested within other titles. This makes it easy for me to understand which topics fall under a specific title.
As a frequent internet user, I like websites that are concise. I don’t want to read lots of text that isn’t very helpful. I am the kind of person who will spend time reading all of the text on a page because I don’t want to miss anything or get confused about how to use the website. However, my life is a lot easier when the web designer cuts out all needless information. While mostly I agree with Steve Krug’s assessment of web design, I do disagree with him on one point. Krug says “happy talk” must die. Happy talk is similar to small talk and it is used as a welcome mat for a website. I like happy talk because it’s a great way for me to get acquainted with a site; I don’t really see its presence as a waste of my time.
I also think it’s important for a web designer to make the page as user-friendly as possible. I believe that part of making a page user-friendly is designing it in such a way as to make it simple to use for those who have disabilities. Krug writes about this topic in chapter eleven where he mentions his three second accessibility test. The test consists of attempting to increase the type on a page, a fairly easy adjustment that would help many people with bad eyesight. However, Krug writes that most web pages fail this simple test. Designers should make sites accessible because so many people have disabilities. For example, I have terrible eyesight and need to wear contacts. It would be beneficial to me as a user if I can increase the size of the text on a page, that way I won’t worry about straining my eyes.
Overall I think there are many different factors that go into making a website great. Design is very important because I have to be able to navigate the page in order to use it successfully. I also think accessibility is important because making a website accessible to those with disabilities will make their life very simple.