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31

Why We Buy The Science of Shopping

Paco Underhill's Why We Buy is a primer to the anthropology of shoppers interacting with retail environments. The book deals with bricks-and-mortar shops, but has a short chapter about online shopping.

The most worthwhile aspect of the book is that it shows how detailed in-situ studies of shoppers shopping and subsequent refinements to the layout of a shop can raise sales significantly.

A pleasant surprise to me was that the art of making shoppers buy is not as much about seducing or bullying customers. It's more about usability: How to remove obstacles, how to help people find what they are looking for and how to make shopping more convenient and pleasant. This proves that usability isn't merely a nice-to-have it's a business critical investment.

The book is written in a novel-like style and isn't very methodical or educational. Don't expect a how-to book. But it's fascinating reading.

Links:

  • Read more reviews and buy the book at Amazon.com
  • Read more reviews and buy the book at Amazon.co.uk

Henrik Olsen - April 09, 2002

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32

Don't Make Me Think!

Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think! is the definitive if-you-only-want-to-buy-one-book-buy-this book for people interested in Web design and usability. It's short, it's funny, it's common sense.

Krug's overriding principle is that Web pages should be self-evident and obvious. People should be able to "get it" without expending any effort thinking about it.

If you have room in your head for only one usability rule, "Don't Make Me Think!" should be the one. If you have room on your shelf for only one book, "Don't Make Me Think" should be the one.

Links:

  • Read more reviews and buy the book at Amazon.co.uk
  • Read more reviews and buy the book at Amazon.com

Henrik Olsen - February 28, 2002

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