Category Archives: Web Tools

“Don’t Make Me Think” Reaction Paper I

September 18, 2014DMMTR cover 77x99

Steve Krug‘s book title, “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability“, means users do not want to take time to learn or invest in abstract design on the web. It is just common sense when you think how simple it is to design for the audience, ha. Krug differentiates between the actual design and the reality of the user on the web. The first time I heard the title of his book, I laughed. It is a funny title but it gets attention and draws in the reader.

The first edition of the book was published in 2000. I read the book in 2004. I recently purchased the third edition which includes mobile website usability. I found enjoyment reading the other chapters but found the assignment focused on the Chapter Two, How We Really Use the Web: Scanning, Satisficing and Muddling Through. I like Kruger’s methods. They are easy to understand because reasonings of “why the user does what he does” is give.

 Krug covers three fact of “real-world” web use. The first “fact of life” is that we don’t read web pages; we scan and we’re good at it. A learned behavior is that we don’t need to read everything. “Fact of life” number two is that we suffice and find the first reasonable choice and go with that. The remaining “fact of life” is that web users will muddle through without learning how things work. Understanding is not as important as finding what you’re looking for.

 He goes on to explain why this happens he states that it’s not important to the audience or they find something that works and they just use that over and over. On the other hand if the user understand what’s going on there’s a better chance of finding what they are searching for which is a win-win if they understand the full range of what is offered and just not parts they stumble across.  Also having them understand gives you a better chance of steering them to the parts of the site they want to see and so both feel smarter and more control when using the site. The rest of the book goes on to explain how to get to this point and different ways of doing it

 Brings us to the bottom line which means that we need to design as if we were on the “super information highway”. Krug’s closing tells us that “if your audience is going to act like you’re designing billboards, than design great billboards” this is true and I have learned a lot from reading his book I have enjoyed it again.

 Krug is a genius. He has taken usability and brought to the forefront of design and building web sites. I look forward to reading the rest of the Third Edition, which includes the following new chapters:

  • Mobile: It’s not just a city in Alabama anymore
  • Usability as common courtesy
  • Accessibility and you
  • Guide for the perplexed

Natural Cleaning Booklet

Artist’s Statement

Creating Natural Cleaning for project three was a challenge. I took over 100 picture with the Nikon D5100 DLSR camera. I ended up with eight photographs featured, as listed below:

  • Bottle of Essential Oil
  • Box of Borax
  • Bottle of Castile’s Liquid Soap
  • Lemon, Lots of Lemons
  • All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients
  • Box of Baking Soap
  • More Lemons and Sea Salt
  • A Bowl of Citrus
  • My Signature

Incorporated was a scanned image of a spiral notebook. I wanted to use it in the magazine spread but I think it worked better here. I grouped the image for the spreads and added a colored rectangle to the bleed. When printing to the postscript file the realization that the old table of contents was grouped within these two objects began apparent. The objects were accessed on the interior master page and ungrouped. Then, the old tale of contents was deleted and all the objects put back into place.
The booklet’s topic covered natural cleaning. The format was a cook book, Six recipes were included with a table of contents. The storyline threaded to another page.
Color was handling through the Swatch panel. I used the Kuler extension to pick a pallet. Other colors brought in from the images listed below and the border images. Spot and sampled colors were converts to process colors.
I really enjoyed learning the page transition feature. I appreciate getting html to pop into any website.

Technical Statement – Colophon

Scanned Images

Used a notebook for edges of pages. Choose calibrate and characterized scanner profile when setting up. Scanned image using the RGB color space and 300 dpi. Using adobe photo shop CS6, global and local adjustments tweaked with the following tools:

  • Level
  • Hue/saturation
  • Curve
  • Color balance
  • Unsharp mask
  • Brightness/contrast

Digital Images

Taken with Nikon D5100 DLSR camera. Modification made and cropped to size in Adobe Photo Shop CS6. Both types of files were converted to the CMYK space and the SWOP v2 Coated Profile. Saved to a TIFF file.

Adobe InDesign Layout

Created a new 12 facing page layout with Portrait Orientation each page is 5 inches by five inches. Layout has .25 margins and .25 page bleeds on each side. Color pallet created in Kuler extension. Style Sheet setup using paragraph styles. An interior page master was created and applied to recipe pages. By placing images in document, a link was created. Created TOC from paragraphs style called “Recipe Title”. Used print booklet option. Created printer preset to created postscript file that when open creates a PDF file.

Keyboard Shortcuts

David Wallace defines the term “life hack” refers to a set of skills, shortcuts and novelty methods employed to increase an individual’s level of productivity. One of the most basic and easy-to-use life hacks is utilizing your most useful keyboard shortcuts.

Landing Pages

call to action

call to action (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Landing Pages are also referred to as Call-to-Action Pages. After you have created your Call-to Action campaign, landing pages are where you want your visitors to find more information that can lead to a conversion. Collecting data may also be your objective.  Keep these pages simple, as the message or offer is the most important aspect.

  • Main navigation is not included.
  • Never use homepage.
  • Reduce resistance to visitor
  • Use pertinent form

More on landing page forms next time.

Dynamic Landing Page Example: