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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member Hormone's Avatar
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    Nielsen Ratings of the Jakob Kind

    I was perusing my latest edition of Processor and came across this opinion piece aptly titled "The Pros and Cons of Jakob Nielsen".

    http://www.processor.com/editorial/a...=&bJumpTo=True

    Hormone

  2. #2
    Also available in Large Si's Avatar
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    I've long agreed with the sentiments of that article. I do agree with a lot of Nielsen's theories and opinions (not all but some) but I found it ridiculous that such a "pioneer" couldn't fund a designer to glam his site up a bit.

    Good find though...
    Si
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  3. #3
    High fives all round! bradley317's Avatar
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    I'm not really convinced by that to be honest.

    The foundation of good website is its content. At the end of the day, that's why people are there. Nielson's point is that the arcitecture and access to this content is fundemental to a website's success, and unless this is in place from the onset, any graphical 'decoration' adds little to the overall quality of the application. Nielson proves that websites can exist, and be successful, without excessive use of images, scripts and downloads. Sure, his site could look better with a few stylesheets, but this would dilute his point. The fact that he could hire a designer is irrelevent.

    Computers and connections are much improved, but many regular people do not have access to the latest technology. Ignoring these people is pretty foolish. Instead, websites should be made to work for everyone, with content available to those with poor system configurations with additional design and styling only available for those that choose to see it.

    The conclusion of this claims that 'if used properly' graphics, scripts and multimedia can improve the quality of a website. I agree with that. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. People use these technologies at the expence of user experience in the majority of cases through a lack of awareness of data architecture, etc. By insuring that substance takes precident over style, the foundations of a site can be put in place, then improvements in appearance can be applied.
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  4. #4
    Matt Williams revsorg's Avatar
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    It's all a bit hair shirtish though, isn't it?
    work: revs | ecru
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Member speedbird01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revs_org
    It's all a bit hair shirtish though, isn't it?
    Well, considering the standpoint of the author, who concludes with this-

    "If used properly, graphics, Java script, rich Internet applications, and Flash can greatly enhance the customer experience. These tools also help companies differentiate their brand by providing a unique look and feel to their Web sites—something Nielsen seems to ignore completely."

    It shows that his view point is The Brand and that Neilson's is usability and ease of information access.
    Given the choice between sitting through a flash intro, various applets, having to download plugins and having javascript enabled before I can find the product/information that I want - I know which method I would choose.

    I think that the ad agency approach to web design is becoming passe; at least I hope that it is.

    Well said, Bradley.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast oemberton's Avatar
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    Consider what the man does for a living (usability consultant), how popular his site is (#14,000 in world) and how much he charges ($150,000 / pop, so we're lead to believe).

    He clearly doesn't need to do anything different to be successful! However if he had any aesthetic sense at all, he'd at least change the colours / fonts he uses - and I'm sure if he asked 1,000+ freelancers would be happy to remake his website's look for free.

    Perhaps it's his somewhat stubborn avoidance of pleasing design which makes him so focused at what he does?

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
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    When I go to Neilsen's site, it is to check for new articles and to read them. The prettiness factor doesn't come into things. That will be true for almost every visitor to the site.

    Having said that, he could make it a bit more pleasing on the eye with a simple styleheet, without distracting from the content...



    Usability does matter. A lot! If you can't find the content you want (or realise that it is on the site), you give up and go elsewhere. And Neilsen concentrates on finding out what makes things more usable. Hence his site's importance.

    There have been threads recently about sites taking 60 seconds to load. huge graphics as backgrounds and so on. Neilsen has been warning about these problems for many years. Not everyone wants to listen. The tone of the article is that the author doesn't think it's worthwhile listening to the warnings, just cos Neilsen's site ins't pretty. Anyone want to say he's right and that usability should be ignored in favour of pretty "graphic rich pages", as he suggests?

    Sure it's hard to cover every usability point that might exist, but to say just ignore them??? That's ridiculus. Neilsen brings these points to our attention - does it need to be on a pretty site? He's a usability expert, not a graphic designer.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Of course one way to get your self noticed is to rubbish the views of a rival who also specialises in corporate web design best practises...


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