This book walks it's talk. It is written and arranged exactly as a useable web site should be, clear and concise, with scannable (as well as enjoyable) text. The clean attractive design and graphics accurately and efficiently illustrate the text, which is easy to read and to understand. I love the use of cartoon people with thought balloons to suggest how people think while using a web site.
There is no clutter of technical gibberish or endless verbose rambling on statistics. The chapter on usability testing takes us step by step through the process and is descriptive and instructional instead of theoretical. Steve Krug doesn't feel he has to sacrifice creativity, visual interest, individuality, or effective advertising in order to develop a usable web site. "Good tag lines are personable, lively, and sometimes clever. Clever is good, but only if the cleverness helps convey - not obscure - the message."
I can't agree with those who dismiss this book as nothing but common sense. While I see nothing wrong with publishing a reference and instructional manual that is full of common sense, this book also presents the reasoning behind every method that is suggested. The clashes between designers, programmers, and advertisers are explored and addressed. While I agree that the simple and obvious conclusion is that the focus should be on the user, it is refreshing and helpful to find a book which distills information from all of the varied and opposing developer viewpoints, and applies to them to that end. The book is, after all, subtitled "A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability." Also, like most common sense, it isn't really so obvious until after someone has pointed it out to you.
Here are a few things you won't find in this book, which makes it all the more effective and convincing. You won't find anything that claims this is the "right" way to design web sites. There will be no discussion of business models or predictions for the future of the web. The best omission of all is that there is no bad mouthing of poorly designed sites. According to Steve Krug "Designing, building, and maintaining a great web site isn't easy. It's like golf: a handful of ways to get the ball in the hole, a million ways not to. Anyone who gets it half right has my admiration."
This book gets it more than half right.