"Web Design: Stephen Circle Book." 2nd edition

    Thanks to our ( Nomagic.ru ) outlined cooperation with the Symbol Plus publishing house, some very interesting IT books fell into my hands. Among others - the second edition of Stephen Krug’s book “Don’t make me think!” (In the Russian edition of Web Design: Stephen Krug’s Book). We have already briefly mentioned the previous edition of this book in our 2007 review of IT literature. Then we mentioned that this is a "very interesting book." I can immediately say that our opinion on the usefulness and interest of this book has not changed. But let's expand this review a little and at the same time we will understand what the second edition prepared for us.

    And now, you can listen to the audio version on Webdiktor.ru , or read on yourself.

    On the table in front of me lies a small but rather plump book by Steve Krug. High-quality thick paper and a soft orange cover make it something like a kind of knowledge brick.

    The author of the book, Steve Krug, is a usability expert who has been successfully collaborating with many large companies for many years. However, unlike his “co-worker”, Jacob Nielsen, he has a more liberal outlook on design. His book is itself an example of good design and usability.

    The book contains a lot of excellent illustrations and diagrams. Headings clearly separate chapters and sections from each other. Encouraging his reader to "get rid of boltology," the author himself follows his own rule. You will not find lengthy reasoning in the book, each of its pages is an example of clarity of presentation. If desired, the entire book can be read in a couple of hours.

    The motto of the author is simple: "This is not higher mathematics!". The usability expert is based on common sense. Another thing is that sometimes a reasonable and sound decision is not always obvious, and often only someone else can tell us it. The book is written for those people who cannot hire a person to tell them where to look and how to fix their usability mistakes.

    All that I said earlier applies equally to both the first and second editions. Now let's focus on their differences.

    What's new?

    Steve is a very consistent person who not only decided to write a short and understandable book about web usability, but when it was reprinted, unlike many authors, added several chapters in accordance with the changed reality, and ... Removed some material so that the book does not increase in size!

    The logic is simple. The smaller the volume, the more people will actually use this book in practice. The author did a little research on what readers like about his book and what turned out to be of little use. Some of the user testing materials that were thrown out of the book on the advice of the readers were seized. Indeed, it is interesting to know the general approach to usability testing, but probably only a few readers will try to conduct such testing on their own. Most likely, the choice will fall on attracting professionals in order to increase confidence in the data obtained. Nevertheless, the basic points of user testing in the book remained.

    Three chapters have been added to the contents of the second edition: "Usability as usual politeness", "Accessibility of web content, cascading style sheets and you" and "Help! The boss makes me __". These are three very short chapters, but not worthless.

    The first of them tells about those moments that positively and negatively affect the average patient’s patience. The second tells about the need to make accessible sites, and the third gives a couple of tips on what options you have when your boss is less perspicacious than you are? .. (By the way, how often do we think that our boss or customer can be smarter than us?)


    It seems to me that there are books that need to be read, but there are books that need to be had. Actually to the last and concern the book of Stephen Krug. Although the book is small, it contains many interesting facts and suggestions. It is hardly possible to remember and understand them all after the first reading. The main thing will be remembered, but the details will be forgotten.

    From my own experience, two things are firmly said. The first - the book is useful, the second - this book can easily be re-read 2-3 times.

    Is it worth buying the second edition if you already have the first? I don’t know, you have to decide it yourself. Both books are damn good, but on the other hand, the first and second editions coincide 90%.

    Other IT literature reviews for web developers at Nomagic.ru

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