# 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".
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.
- Self-evident websites do not need instructions
- Usable websites are self-evident, therefore time to build websites should proportionately being spent on making them self-evident rather than writing instructions on how to use them. If self-evidence is not achievable, try to make it self-explanatory first (Websites should be self-explanatory when not self-evident). Lastly, when something could not be made self-explanatory, a short instruction could be written.