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Book 19 (2014)

  1. Berger, John — Ways of Seeing (149 pages)
  2. Vonnegut, Kurt — God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian (72 pages)
  3. Roth, Joseph — The Legend of the Holy Drinker (100 pages)
  4. Hrabal, Bohumil — Closely Observed Trains (87 pages)
  5. Bloomfield, Barbara & Chris Radley — Couple Therapy: Dramas of Love and Sex (171 pages)
  6. Feist, Raymond E. — Magician (689 pages)
  7. Feist, Raymond E. — Silverthorn (424 pages)
  8. Faber, Michael — Under the Skin (296 pages)
  9. Gourevitch, Philip — We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda (351 pages)
  10. Feist, Raymond E. — A Darkness at Sethanon (518 pages)
  11. Remarque, Erich Maria — All Quiet on the Western Front (215 pages)
  12. Jones, Gwyneth — White Queen (318 pages)
  13. Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White — The Elements of Style (104 pages)
  14. Keating, Karl — Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians" (337 pages)
  15. Ettlinger, Steve — Twinkie, Deconstructed (274 pages)
  16. Dick, Philip K. — The Penultimate Truth (191 pages)
  17. Clason, George S. — The Richest Man in Babylon (198 pages)
  18. McCoy, Horace — They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (119 pages)
  19. Krug, Steve — Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (197 pages)
Page count
4810
book cover: Don't Make Me Think.

I was sceptical when my line manager handed me a copy of Don't Make Me Think. He'd heard me grumble many a time, with my standard, "I'm a developer, not a designer," about the lack of a designer on our team. Of course, I do know something about design, having read books and blogs and having done a few simple designs; but that doesn't make me a designer. And reading one more book on UX design wasn't going to change that. I certainly didn't expect much of Don't Make Me Think.

I sold it short. Simply put, it's the most sensible book on web usability I've read. It's beautifully (and functionally) designed, clear and concise, and makes its points memorably. Other books may try to say the same things, but the ones I've read have fallen short of Krug's mark.

Ok, no, I'm not any more a designer than I was before, but I do feel more comfortable making design decisions on our projects at work. It's mostly just common sense, keeping things simple, remembering that a website is for its users, not for the designers/developers/etc. A good deal of it was stuff I knew, but there was quite a bit that was new to me, or stuff I hadn't thought much about.

If I want to nitpick, some of the code examples (html/css/javascript) weren't particularly good, but since this book is not about coding, such was of minimal importance. This book is about making the web usable, and it should be required reading for anyone designing, developing, or managing a website project.

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