SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

View Poll Results: Jakob Neilsen...

Voters
44. You may not vote on this poll
  • ... I love him

    7 15.91%
  • ... I hate him

    13 29.55%
  • ... I've never heard of him

    4 9.09%
  • ... I only agree with some of the stuff he says

    19 43.18%
  • ... I couldn't care less

    1 2.27%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 37
  1. #1
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,066
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    www.useit.com

    Jakob Neilsen is one of the most outspoken proponents (sp?) of web usability. His often controversial columns (posted every fortnight on www.useit.com) are regarded by some as the web designers bible, while others regard him as nothing more than an arrogant loud mouthed irritant.

    Poll time

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    338
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Supprised that I haven't seen a thread like this before
    Drinky

  3. #3
    Misfit
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    2,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, never heard of him before this thread, but I must say his website is freaking ugly. Sure, it works with probably every browser, disabled person, and whatever out there, but it sure is ugly. I'd rather create a website that 99% of the Internet's users can understand than one that's text based like that. Sorry to be a pain, but that's just what I think.
    Last edited by Nicky; Mar 1, 2001 at 15:48.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Muskegon, MI
    Posts
    2,328
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    I subscribe to his newsletter and a lot of what he says makes sense, however, I do think his own site takes it to extremes, but maybe that is his intention.

    I also try to keep the average user in mind.

    The Internet had been around a while before the Web, but wasn't widely used. The gopher search made a lot of sense, but I don't know of any one that uses it anymore. AOL forces a lot of restrictions and rules on it users, but is the most popular ISP. Linux has been slow to take off with many common users.

    Why?

    One answer to all of this is pretty graphics and monkey-simple GUI.
    Westmich
    Smart Web Solutions for Smart Clients
    http://www.mindscapecreative.com

  5. #5
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    5,891
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This guy annoys the heck out of me! I've seen him on some TV shows and what really gets me is how he talks about how everyone's web site is so bad and all, yet his is utterly pathetic, as well. So, I agree with Justin, in a way.
    Last edited by mjames; Mar 1, 2001 at 20:40.

  6. #6
    Bored One boredboi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    238
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yes... he's very critical, but i think he has to be critical to prove his points, and to get people to believe him

    he does make several good points about usability, but i think he takes it to extremes

    to me however, whether i would make a website usable or not would depend on the type and goals of the website

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    3,910
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I hate this dude - whether he likes to admit it, people like an eye-catching site with a good use of colors, and are more likely to return to it.

    What format would you like a tutorial in: white background, black text, or something like SP where the structure of the page guides your eyes to the content?

    Sorry, but it's pretty darn arrogant for him to think that he is right, and 99% of the web developers out there are wrong. Sorry, but it's true. Layout matters. Content is important, but you cannot dismiss layout as useless - that's just as extreme as his worst nightmare: a giant site written in Flash with almost no text.

  8. #8
    Gong!
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    229
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    What format would you like a tutorial in: white background, black text, or something like SP where the structure of the page guides your eyes to the content?
    White background and black text definitely. Why? Because:

    - it can be adjusted to browser window size (ie. if I'm reading a coding tutorial, which adjusts to window size, the fonts can set to be bigger/smaller etc, I can divide my screen to two parts, the left for the tutorial so I can view it easily and the right for the editor to write the code and test it).

    - it can be printed without any hassle (no thanks to those ridicilous "print this page" templates with 600 pixel wide table and fixed width font size - like SP's one).

    - you can focus better on the actual content, since if there is no blinking banner ads and other elements that may distract you from the meaning of the content, it is obvious that you can read it more easily.

    I usually use SP's Print this page -option to read the articles, much easier, no need to click to get the next page, it can be printed easily and it loads up a lot of faster. It's too bad that the font size is fixed, but it can be easily overrided with few clicks (in Opera) or with user-defined stylesheet.
    HighCheats - game cheats, codes, tips and tricks for PC and various console platforms

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    back in my box
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While much of what he has to say on usability is interesting, it would be difficult for anyone who loves the creative freedom allowed by web design to agree with it all.

    Check out the link on useit.com to his company and you'll see that to come and have him talk to you for 4 hours will set you back $20,000!

    Which means Macromedia would have to offer him a fair bit more than that just to stop his Flash-bashing

  10. #10
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    3,798
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I respect Jakob Neilson and take the time to read all his useit alert columns. I agree with a lot of what he has to say.

    I think his site's desing is excellent!

    Unfortunately, he is in the minority being an intelligent person, so his perceptions of what makes sense are often incongruous with the behaviour of the masses. Like any overpriced *guru* his writings are a combination of empirical observation biaised by personal conviction. Good luck to him that he charges the morons who have no chance of grocking his ideas mega bucks!

    Death to Macromedia FLASH!!!!!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict Macromedia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've heard a little about him, but don't like him much so I went to his site to learn a little bit more about him, but I didn't know where to look. First I looked at the top logo and then there were the two bars of content below, one yellow and one bright blue. It drove me crazy!! Ugh! I didn't know which one to look at and when I looked at one the other one distracted me in the corner of my eye. Bad design!

    I think if he wants to get his point accross he needs to be a little bit more likeable. He can't have this I'm right and everyone else is wrong attitude. He obviously never learned some of life's princible lessons, such as that you need to be nice. I bet if he was a nice, more likeable person that didn't annoy people so much he would be a lot more popular than he is...
    -Nick

  12. #12
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    A cave with 47 computers and an internet feed
    Posts
    3,559
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jakob Nielson is only pointing out common sense observations. Yes, you should make your website as browseable as possible by many different types of platforms and their users. You should try to be accessable and follow the set standards, but by trying to limit creative expression and design, you're setting yourself up for a website that looks great, in Lynx under Windows 3.1!

    I truthfully think that Mr. Nielsons point is well taken, but by boasting that his webpage is glorious and that his advice is priceless, he's creating a more narrow-minded view of what the web is becoming! I dont think he likes to admit it, but the internet is expanding and changing into something bigger, brighter and faster. He may have been an expert on website development back when Netscape 1.0 was released, but now his advice is falling on deaf ears.

  13. #13
    mouse monkey
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    656
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,

    I voted for Hating him but I think hate is a too strong a word. I don't necessarily agree with what he says but I don't hate him. He does make some good usability points but he does take it to the extreme. Imagine a web if every developer followed Jakob Nielson's way .

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict Macromedia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oooh, that's a terrible thought, Fletch.

    One of the problems with him is that he is just so annoying and the way he presents himself makes you want to hate him, but I already said that before.
    -Nick

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    3,910
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by hmahonen
    - it can be printed without any hassle (no thanks to those ridicilous "print this page" templates with 600 pixel wide table and fixed width font size - like SP's one).
    Well, I do agree that SP's Printing Template is ridiculously thin - but most are not.

    If 99% of the people appreciate and enjoy a good site layout, I'm going to give them what they want, plain and sample.

    Get this: Nielsen's sayings imply that even Yahoo's site is too extravagant! Too many images - he has suggested in the past that someone's logo should consist of nothing more than fancy text - no images. Sheesh.

    To all of his supporters: any of you actually follow those instructions and use an amazingly simple layout? Let's face it: a lot of people would not do business with you.

  16. #16
    Gong!
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    229
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If 99% of the people appreciate and enjoy a good site layout, I'm going to give them what they want, plain and sample.

    Did you get that 99% from out of your head or do you have any studies that can back it up?

    Get this: Nielsen's sayings imply that even Yahoo's site is too extravagant! Too many images - he has suggested in the past that someone's logo should consist of nothing more than fancy text - no images. Sheesh.

    Get this: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/991114.html (Nielsen's column: When bad design elements becomes the standard).

    Here's a good quote from there: "The fact is, no website is seen in isolation: users come to your site expecting things to work the same way they are already used to."

    To all of his supporters: any of you actually follow those instructions and use an amazingly simple layout? Let's face it: a lot of people would not do business with you.

    They are not instructions, but more likely recommendations. Infact I do believe that the current trend isn't as user friendly as it should be, even though I consider myself as experienced web user (first encounter at '94 - with lynx ) I still find it hard sometimes to find the thing you're looking for from the cluttered pages full of advertisements, "cool" navigation elements and links without underlines and so wacky colors that you can't actually guess if it's a link - especially if no A:hover isn't being used or the browser doesn't support such).

    Sure, I don't say that web sites should always be simple as possible, but with some sites simplicity is a part of the "design" and it actually, more simplier the layout could be translated as more easier to focus to read it online.

    And about the business thing, I don't agree.

    "Flash super DHTML Quicktime 1024x768 music" != successful business.
    HighCheats - game cheats, codes, tips and tricks for PC and various console platforms

  17. #17
    Irritability Defined
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    80,000 feet below the surface
    Posts
    1,442
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by TWTCommish


    Well, I do agree that SP's Printing Template is ridiculously thin - but most are not.
    In defence of our printing template : the 600-wide resolution allows for 99.98% of the web population to print it off properly without wrapping or formatting problems.

    Failing that, open up your word processor, press Ctrl+A on the 'print-friendly' article, copy-and-paste, print, and save paper. That's what I do

    Back on track.... Jakob happened to be in Sydney yesterday to do the World Tour conference (I couldn't go because I'm in a different city) but I do believe it was absolutely completely packed out. *sigh*
    My 2 Cents (or is that 2.2 Cents including GST?)

  18. #18
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    5,891
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It comes down to this. Do you want your site to be excessable to 100% of the population, but have them leave and not even bother exploring because of your utterly ordinary and plain layout, or do you want 97% (just an estimate) of the population to visit and like what they see, continue to browse, and order if you are selling something?

    I would definitely rather not have every person on the Internet be able to view my site and have a slighly lesser amount like what they see and possibly return and buy things.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    3,910
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by hmahonen
    If 99% of the people appreciate and enjoy a good site layout, I'm going to give them what they want, plain and sample.

    Did you get that 99% from out of your head or do you have any studies that can back it up?

    Get this: Nielsen's sayings imply that even Yahoo's site is too extravagant! Too many images - he has suggested in the past that someone's logo should consist of nothing more than fancy text - no images. Sheesh.

    Get this: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/991114.html (Nielsen's column: When bad design elements becomes the standard).

    Here's a good quote from there: "The fact is, no website is seen in isolation: users come to your site expecting things to work the same way they are already used to."

    To all of his supporters: any of you actually follow those instructions and use an amazingly simple layout? Let's face it: a lot of people would not do business with you.

    They are not instructions, but more likely recommendations. Infact I do believe that the current trend isn't as user friendly as it should be, even though I consider myself as experienced web user (first encounter at '94 - with lynx ) I still find it hard sometimes to find the thing you're looking for from the cluttered pages full of advertisements, "cool" navigation elements and links without underlines and so wacky colors that you can't actually guess if it's a link - especially if no A:hover isn't being used or the browser doesn't support such).

    Sure, I don't say that web sites should always be simple as possible, but with some sites simplicity is a part of the "design" and it actually, more simplier the layout could be translated as more easier to focus to read it online.

    And about the business thing, I don't agree.

    "Flash super DHTML Quicktime 1024x768 music" != successful business.
    Yes, the other extreme of all DHTML and Flash is also bad - but as that extreme is bad, so is total utter plain-ness. Your last statement all but confirms this, actually.

    And no, I have no study - I'm using common sense. Am I exaggerating? Maybe a little. Some things are obvious, and I think one of them is that most visitors like an attractive layout. I'm not defending all these Flash sites - they have their place on the web - they're not meant to be content sites.

  20. #20
    Gong!
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    229
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    Yes, the other extreme of all DHTML and Flash is also bad - but as that extreme is bad, so is total utter plain-ness. Your last statement all but confirms this, actually. ]
    True. That's why I've chosen the golden road, which stands middle of those two extreme design styles.

    And no, I have no study - I'm using common sense. Am I exaggerating? Maybe a little. Some things are obvious, and I think one of them is that most visitors like an attractive layout.
    I still disagree with this - you can't really know what is obvious and what is not, just the same thing that you can't really predict that somebody would view your site with Lynx or Links

    I'm not defending all these Flash sites - they have their place on the web - they're not meant to be content sites.
    Unfortunately, more and more content sites are starting to use flash - they get bigger, slower, cluttered and they are starting to lose the balance between usability and design. Sure, there are some who use it wisely, but most of flash developers do not.
    HighCheats - game cheats, codes, tips and tricks for PC and various console platforms

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    3,910
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, I'm not going to defend Flash-based sites. I do believe, however, that official movie websites can "get away with it", so to speak.

    Yes, technically I cannot truly know what is obvious - we all have different opinions on it. It is simply obvious to me.

    As for Lynx: anybody viewing my site in that browser doesn't deserve to see it!

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Nashvegas Baby!
    Posts
    7,845
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    actually, I don't think HATE is strong enough.

    This man is nothing but a blowhard. Just by saying that I am an expert in Nuclear Physics doesn't make me one.

    The thing that really makes me upset is that he quotes himself. That is nothing sort of egotistical. Several of his articles are 3 and 4 years old...and he still quotes them and puts them forward as gospel.

    Now...having said all htat, I will agree that certain things that he says make sense. Like others have stated, it is only common sense to make your site accessible to the greatest amount of people. But where do you draw the line? Do you make your site accessible to users who have Netscape 2? What about Mosaic? What about Lynx. Those browsers don't support some of the killer features that newer browsers do. Should I then leave off those features just so that .001% of the people can see my site?

    a resounding NO!
    Adobe Certified Coldfusion MX 7 Developer
    Adobe Certified Advanced Coldfusion MX Developer
    My Blog (new) | My Family | My Freelance | My Recipes

  23. #23
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Neisen has some points to make of course...sometimes a bit extreme (eg Flash 99% bad). IMHO, he hasn't moved with the times.

    His greatest asset is self-publicity (how else would he justify a $10,000 fee?). And fair play to him - if he didn't do it someone else would.

    In summary: It's Not All Nonsense From Neilsen but it's getting dated.
    Let's be careful out there!

  24. #24
    ComDude CryingWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    I don't know the cat drug it in!!!
    Posts
    247
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Code:
     
    HTML Validation Service Results
    Document Checked
    URI: http://www.useit.com I was redirected to <URI:http://www.useit.com/> 
    Last modified: Sun Mar 11 20:29:58 2001 
    Server: BESTWWWD/2.4 
    Content length: 13090 
    Character encoding: unknown 
    Document type: HTML 4.0 Transitional 
    Below are the results of attempting to parse this document with an SGML parser. 
    
    Line 62, column 157: 
      ... ITLE="World Tour logo" WIDTH=80 HEIGHT=78 BORDER=0></A>
                                                            ^
    Error: required attribute "ALT" not specified
    
    Line 150, column 12: 
      <HR WIDTH=25% SIZE=1 STYLE="margin-top: 1ex; margin-bottom: 1ex">
                  ^
    Error: an attribute value must be quoted if it contains any character other than letters (A-Za-z), digits, hyphens, and periods; use quotes if in doubt
    
    Line 154, column 12: 
      <HR WIDTH=25% SIZE=1 STYLE="margin-top: 1ex; margin-bottom: 1ex">
                  ^
    Error: an attribute value must be quoted if it contains any character other than letters (A-Za-z), digits, hyphens, and periods; use quotes if in doubt
    
    Line 163, column 12: 
      <HR WIDTH=25% SIZE=1 STYLE="margin-top: 1ex; margin-bottom: 1ex">
                  ^
    Error: an attribute value must be quoted if it contains any character other than letters (A-Za-z), digits, hyphens, and periods; use quotes if in doubt
    
    Line 172, column 12: 
      <HR WIDTH=25% SIZE=1 STYLE="margin-top: 1ex; margin-bottom: 1ex">
                  ^
    Error: an attribute value must be quoted if it contains any character other than letters (A-Za-z), digits, hyphens, and periods; use quotes if in doubt
    
    Line 206, column 86: 
      ... F="http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT333U ...
                                                            ^
    Error: unknown entity "c"
    
    Line 206, column 96: 
      ... news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT333UXM3GC">Sim ...
                                                            ^
    Error: unknown entity "cid"
    
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Sorry, this document does not validate as HTML 4.0 Transitional. 
    
    If you use CSS in your document, you should also check it for validity using the W3C CSS Validation Service. 
    
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
     Gerald Oskoboiny
    Last modified: Date: 2001/03/05 03:51:07


    Sorry I couldn't resist!!! A little childish I know!!!

    Well I for one have to agree with most people that his site isn't really something to look at.
    And I don't even think the usabilty is all that great. I have seen better usability from sites
    that have used a lot more graphics and "fun" stuff!!!
    body { background:#000000; color:#000000 }
    HEY, WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?!?
    Easy come easy go!!!
    CryingWolf

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    3,910
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    LOL! I didn't realize one simple thing before: the HTML I write is more XHTML compliant than Nielsen! He's one of those guys who writes his tags and attributes in ALL CAPS and never quotes their values.

    As for saying "he has a few good ideas" - that's missing the point.

    He's like a homeless guy walking around muttering that we should kill all parking violators. Sure, he's nuts, but his idea, if scaled WAY, WAY BACK, it makes sense. The logic there seems a little faulty.

    We're basically saying "he's nuts, but he has some good ideas" - but that's not true, because we have to take his entire philosophy into account. His view of what I site should be is illogical and, to put it bluntly, stupid. Picking and choosing parts of his philosophy doesn't account for his views on the whole, which are plainly whacked-out.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •