If anyone out there is planning a major overhaul of their Web site, listen up. I've just finished reading Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug. This book is a great guide for anyone who wants to get some insight into Web style conventions, how visitors use Web sites, and usability testing. Why are conventions and usability important? Imagine picking up a newspaper with no headlines, no sections, no page numbers. Web conventions are important to know because, well, people have come to expect them. And, they work.
The book is a quick read (about three hours) and user friendly (it would be self-defeating if it were otherwise). The tips and advice offered by Krug are great pieces of wisdom to have in the back of your mind as you examine the needs of your site's users, work with designers, and seek buy-in from stakeholders.
The second edition of the book was published back in 2005, but the trends and conventions it cites are not out-of-date by any means. And, the backbone concept of "don't make me think" is timeless. This book is definitely worth checking out, especially if you're about to put any time, effort, and money into revamping your organization's Web presence.
Related site: Advanced Common Sense (Steve Krug's site)