Tag Archives: useability

SXSWi Panel: Steve Krug Explains It All For You

It’s been more than a week since South By Southwest Interactive ended, and now that I’m finally back into a routine, I wanted to share some of the amazing stuff I learned through the conference.  I’ll be posting a new one each day this week.

Today’s topic: Steve Krug Explains It All For You, presented by Steve Krug.  The audio of the presentation is available at the above link, and I highly recommend listening, because Krug is another really funny presenter.  I mean, he managed to keep me there all the way to the end of the last panel of the last day.  That’s sayin’ something!

Krug wrote a book that I found incredibly useful: “Don’t Make Me Think” which is all about usability.  He also wrote “Rocket Surgery Made Useful.”

The crux of Krug’s talk was that all sites have serious usability problems, and that, while they are easy to find, you don’t have the resources to fix them.  But thanks to do-it-yourself usability testing done throughout the development process, you can save money, time and identify major problems early.

Krug went through the steps of how to do an effective usability test — ideally performed monthly — by testing the SXSW site (hilarious).

A demo of such a test can be found on his website at www.sensible.com.

Take aways:

  • Keep yourself out of the test
  • Identify the top 3 usability problems and work on those
  • Perform small sample testing routinely (and don’t get stuck trying to find people that are part of your target market)


  • Test competitors
  • Focus routinely on a small number of the most important problems and when fixing, always do the least you can do.