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Earth to Jakob Nielsen
Monday, June 20, 2005
Jakob Nielsen's useit.com is ten years old! Ten years ago, slow dial-up connections were the prevalent on-ramp to the net, and large graphics gummed up the works. Jakob's site remains almost entirely text. For a supposed usability expert, this defies all logic.

Here's a rare graphic from Jakob's site. Note the dates.

The speed of downloading needs to be balanced by the beauty and undertsanding graphics can bring to a site. Avoiding graphics is like writing tiny programs in machine language because once upon a time a floppy held only 180 KB. Wise people change when Moore's Law rewrites the rules.




Another point, totally unrelated but not enough to justify another post. IT Conversations is a wonderful way to learn things. I just got home from my daily walk. Tim O'Reilly and then John Hagel were whispering in my ear all along. Before mp3's, exercise bored me to tears. Now fresh content has become a motivation.

3 Comments:

Blogger Shail Arora said...

I have to make a comment about IT Conversations. I discovered it after listening to an NPR show, since then I have been addicted. I used to listen to music on my iPod when I worked out, now I enjoy listening to people like Clayton Christensen, Steve Wozniac, and Tim O-Reilly. I put my money in the "Tip Jar" and I highly recommend it.

Shail

liveelearning.blogspot.com

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Kyle said...

While well-chosen and well-designed graphics can add tremendously to a site, most folks use neither. And graphic clutter still reduces the readability, particularly if not done right.

The reasons might not be completely the same anymore, but reducing graphics on a site is still a good idea.

To be honest, I like your content and have subscribed to the feed for a while, but I cringe everytime I come to the site precisely because of the graphic design (and I'm certainly no professional designer). The content is what matters, but the design can enhance or distract depending on how well it's done. When it doubt, keep it clean.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nielsen has some pretty insightful information on web page usability and I generaly agree with the things he has to say... up to a certain point however. I mean, I commend him for wanting some form of "standardization" on the utilitarian aspects of a website (ease of use, load speed, etc.) but the web is still a relatively young medium (compared to print which has been around for centuries) that has evolved and will continue to do so through spontaneity and discovery. Imposing all these "rules" on the web now (and keep in mind Nielsen's own personal website appears to be stuck in an age where 14.4 kps dial-up was the only choice) and you run the danger of turning the internet into a rather lifeless and generic way to communicate. Usability, in my opinion, is only have of the equation to creating a memorable experience for the user.

12:29 AM  

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