Ugh! Jakob Nielsen is at it again,
November 18, 1999 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Ugh! Jakob Nielsen is at it again, this time quantifying design conventions for the web. This quote of his stands out to me in a bad, bad way: "Therefore, I recommend following the conventions even in those cases where a different design would be better if seen in isolation." Instead of pointing out the recipie for making a boring, slightly functional site, I wish he'd stress alternatives to the emerging trends in corporate web site design.
posted by mathowie (2 comments total)
Word. "De-facto standard" my ass. It's hard to disagree with Jakob, he usually puts up such a rational discussion. But, this item seems to be throwing design and new ideas out the window to meet the expectations of users. It's peculiar how up till the point there was some sort of convention to follow, the expectations of a lot of users were to get something distinctive. Now, there's a 'standard' that should be followed in the name of usability. What-ever. New "non-standard" designs may not achieve 100% usabillity right away, but they *never* will if we listen to this and refuse to even take a shot at it.

posted by Kobayashi at 2:23 PM on November 18, 1999

I too usually agree with just about everything Mr. Nielsen says or writes about web design and usability, but not with this statement.

It can be a tough decision to buck the trend, but how else will new and innovative design techniques gain acceptance? Yes, website visitors do expect navigation, page layout, etc., to work in a certain way, but this trend toward copying what works, or what is seen as the niche leader, leads to a lot of sites that are way too similar.

Can't remember where I read it, maybe in a recent Internet World, but so many commerce sites are going to the tabs-across-the-top look - when I hit these sites, I am very unimpressed. Yes, it works the same, but how do you differentiate your site from dozens of others?

posted by honeyman at 7:08 AM on November 19, 1999

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