Blog » Improving Website Navigation/Usability

Improving Website Navigation/Usability

Don't make me think by Steve KrugRegular visitors may have noticed the addition of drop-down menus on the navigation bar above. This was suggested to me by my brother, who correctly pointed out that this would make it easier to navigate this website. Indeed, examining the server logs shows that many visitors are already using it to jump to the sub-section of greatest interest. Previously, they had to click on a section, and then choose the desired sub-section in order to get to what they wanted. Not only do the new menus save time, they also give an instant overview of what the major topics of this website are, thus making it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for. The menus were implemented using the Simple Drop-Down Menu code found on this page.

This highlights the importance of good website design, an area in which I still have much to learn. Possibly the best summary of what makes a good design is given by the book title "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug. Due to the overload of information on the internet and elsewhere, we no longer have the time or desire to examine everything in detail. To quote Steve Krug's book: "We don't read pages. We Scan them." Essentially, everyone is instinctively trying to extract the information that they need in minimal time. Thus, a website is most effective if it makes it easy to find what one is looking for; if too much thinking is required, people are likely to walk away and look elsewhere. 

Small changes can make a big difference to how easy it is to find information. For example, not only does this website now have drop-down menus, but it is instantly apparent due to the triangular down arrows on the navigation bar. It is a standard convention to use these arrows to indicate that a sub-menu is present. Thus, a reader does not need to guess that these menus are available; it is immediately obvious. 

From what I have seen so far, Steve Krug's book looks like a very good resource for anyone designing websites. It is the result of years of studying the behaviour of web-users and contains examples of pages and how users typically scan them. Clear comparisons of intuitive visuals and those that require extra thought or guess work are also provided. This book also comes highly recommended by others. I will be reading through it in depth soon. Anyone else who is interested in reading this book can find it at the following online stores (select the one closest to you):

 Available online globally from the following stores:
 New ZealandBuy from
 AustraliaBuy from
 United States of America
Buy from
 CanadaBuy from
 United Kingdom
Buy from
 FranceAchetez chez
 DeutschlandKaufen bei


Blog » Improving Website Navigation/Usability

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments

Blog » Improving Website Navigation/Usability