# Websites should be self-explanatory when not self-evident

Even though Usable websites are self-evident, not every elements of a website can be made self-evident. When there is a concept that can't be made obvious or self-evident, resort to making them self-explanatory.

The difference in between self-evident and self-explanatory is in the words itself. Self-evident means the element itself is the evidence therefore there's no instruction required. Self-explanatory means that the element explains itself with a minimal instruction.

A button is a simple concept, therefore when a button is self-evident, it will not have the instruction to be clicked. When a button is self-explanatory on the other hand, it may have a text that says "Click me".

# References

Krug, Don’t make me think (p. 18).

Sometimes, though, particularly if you're doing something original or groundbreaking or something that's inherently complicated, you have to settle for self-explanatory. On a self-explanatory page, it takes a little thought to "get it" - but only a little. The appearance of things (like size, colour, and layout), their well-chosen names, and the small amounts of carefully crafted text should all work together to create a sense of nearly effortless understanding.