Don’t Make Me Think Discussion Questions

In the Web Design course I teach at Saint Paul College we read Don’t Make Me Think, Revised (3rd Edition)*  by Steve Krug. I searched the Internet for existing study questions and failed to find them. Hence, I will be writing my own discussion questions. I hope you find these discussion questions useful. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them and perhaps I can improve this list of questions.

Introduction and Chapter 1: Don’t Make Me Think

The author, Steve Krug, is a usability consultant. What does a usability consultant do? If you wanted to be a usability consultant, how would you learn to do that?

The book defines usability as: Useful, Learnable, Memorable, Effective, Efficient, Desirable, and Delightful. How would use describe it?

Why is the book named, “Don’t Make Me Think?

Can you think of an example where something was named in a cutesy name (Job-O-Rama) instead of a clear name (Jobs)?

Share an example of when an action to take on a website wasn’t self-evident. If you can demonstrate it, better yet. How could the action to take be clarified?

What does this rule mean: “If you can’t make something self-evident, then at least make it self-explanatory.” Why is it important to follow that rule in Web Design?

After reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 you may have been more aware of the usability of websites that you visited recently. Do you have an example you can share?

Chapter 2: How We Really Use the Web

As you read about “muddling through”, did you remember a time when you muddled through a website? Describe your experience.

Think about your experiences using the Saint Paul College websites as a student. Based on what you read in Chapter 2, how could the websites be improved?

Based on what we learned in Chapter 2, how can we make a website for a local pet store easier to navigate? How can we, as web designers, make it easy for our potential customers to find what they need?

Chapter 3: Billboard Design 101

What is a convention in the context of web design? What are some conventions used in web design today?

Describe some ways we can make it easier for users to scan a page and find what they need.

How can you make it obvious that something is clickable, without making a button?

In your assigned reading for your classes, either online, in articles, or in textbooks, what makes the content easier to follow and pay attention to? How can we apply that to web design?

Chapter 4: Animal, Vegetable or Mineral

Why do website users like to make “Mindless Choices”?

Can you think of a time where you were asked to make a choice, but you weren’t sure what you were choosing?

Are there any confusing forms that you have to fill out when you register for classes at Saint Paul College?

Chapter 5: Omit Needless Words

Can you think of an example of unnecessary happy talk in your classes? On any other websites you visit?

In working with your class instructors, do you get too many instructions? Not enough instructions? How can instructors have just the right amount of instructions?

Chapter 6: Street Signs and Breadcrumbs

Is there a website you regularly use that has hundreds or thousands of pages? How do you navigate? How could the navigation be improved?

Let’s try the Trunk Test on a few webpages. Where is the Site Id? The Page Name? The Sections (Primary Navigation)? The local navigation? The “You are here” navigators? The Search?

Chapter 7: The Big Bang Theory of Web Design

Based on what you read for Chapter 7, what would be a good tagline for Saint Paul College? For TikTok? For

Looking at the home page of Saint Paul College, how would you change it to make it more useful for first time visitors? What would you remove to make it easier to find the most important items?

Chapter 8: The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends

In the chapter, the author describes why the designer and programmer may have differing opinions on the website. Do you relate more to the designer or the programmer and why?

Not including religion or politics, describe a time where you had a disagreement with among group members. What was behind the disagreement? Why were there strong feelings?

In what circumstances might it be beneficial to use a dropdown (pulldown) menu? A slider on the home page? A pop-up message?

Chapter 9. Usability Testing on 10 cents a day

Have you ever been in a focus group or testing group? Describe your experience. How could the facilitators have made it a better experience for you? Were you paid, and, if so, how much?

Pretend that you are on a team at Saint Paul College to set up usability testing for How would you recruit participants? How would you set up the testing environment?

Are there any word choices used in the Saint Paul College community that you initially didn’t understand? How did you figure out what the words meant?

Chapter 10: Mobile: It’s Not Just a City in Alabama Anymore

Can you think of an example of a website that didn’t provide a strong “affordance” and so you didn’t know what to click?

Over half of website views are on a smartphone. What are the coding choices we can use to make websites mobile friendly?

What website do you avoid from your phone, because you know they won’t work well?

Chapter 11: Usability as Common Courtesy

Do you have any businesses that you refuse to use because of a bad experience? What happened? What could they have done better?

Have you experienced a problem, but then had a great service experience so that you ended up liking the business more?

Think of an example where you couldn’t find something on a website because it was hidden. (It’s often the pricing.) How did that make you feel about the business?

Chapter 12: Accessibility and You

Why is it important to make websites accessible?

How do website users with limited or no vision use a website? How do website users with the inability to use a mouse use a website?

What are the web design coding considerations we need to remember for Accessibility?

Chapter 13

UX designers are in demand in the marketplace. Now that you have an idea of what is involved, is UX design of interest to you? Why or why not?

Can you think of a time where you spoke up for customers to a boss? What happened?

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