For the first of our Sunday book reviews, I’m going to start with what I have long considered to be one of the most important books for anyone with a website – and this applies to blogs, online shops, and the rest too – anyone marketing online would do well to read this book.
“A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” – now as WordPress “users”, you may not think this quite applies to you, however it does. When it comes to WordPress themes (the design) we are tempted with plenty of pretty/scary/all-dancing/action-packed designs, as well as plenty that are pleasing to the eye and useful to you and your visitors. Everyone with a web presence, be that a website or a blog, needs to consider the people you want visiting (and subsequently doing what you want them to do – come back, get in touch, subscribe, buy…). Is that cool, brooding design really going to encourage your ideal customers?
Don’t Make Me Think is a book I’ve recommended to clients and anyone who will listen since it was first published a decade or so ago. Now in its second edition, Steve Krug‘s take on keeping it simple is easy to read and packed with solid advice that everyone, in my opinion, should heed. And this is timeless stuff – even this edition is nearly 5 years old, but it continues to be relevant and a must-read, even for those of us working with WordPress. The sound basis that this gives you when considering usability is essential when choosing your theme and the various widgets and plugins available, and how you present your content.
So this is one of those JDI, no-brainer books if you want your website/blog to do what you expect of it! (and if you don’t really know that, have a chat with Babs and she’ll point you to some useful advice).