Influence people

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Don't Make Me Brake


Web designer Steve Krug pronounced the "Three Laws of Usability" in his decade-old Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. The three laws stated:

Don’t make me think. Make every element of a web page obvious and self-evident, or at least self-explanatory.

It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice. Make choices mindless for ease of use.


Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left. Be ruthlessly concise.

I now pronounce the Three Laws of Readability:

Don’t make me brake. Strive at every turn to help the reader maintain her preferred speed. Use common words to say uncommon things. Avoid empty, exhausted idioms.

Adding more imprecise words doesn't increase precision. Ambiquity can be lessened with a picture, and our language is rife with picturesque words and phrases. Find them. Use them.

Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left. No, not an error; the Third Law of Readability mirrors the Third Law of Usability. Be ruthlessly concise. You will capture readers' interest. As Voltaire said, "The secret of being boring is to say everything." So obey Hemingway's Iceberg Theory.

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