Re. Theory? (of Web design)

Subject: Re. Theory? (of Web design)
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 09:13:33 -0400

In response to the question "What principles (theories) of web design have
you found to be the most helpful?"", Kent Christensen replied <<Nearly
everything here:>>

I'd second the recommendation of "_nearly_ everything". Jakob Nielsen is a
very bright guy, and has done much to advance the profession of usability,
but he seems to have acquired an ego to match--much of it justified, I
admit--and his research methods occasionally appear suspect to someone who
doesn't share his high self-opinion. Moreover, his own site and some of the
sites I've seen him consult on redesigning are a textbook case of not
following your own advice. So while I'm always happy to recommend Nielsen to
anyone who asks, I also advocate a strong reality check of anything he says.
And please note: I'm not singling him out here. I say the same of _any_
expert, self-appointed or otherwise, and especially including myself. (One
of the great things about participating so often in techwr-l is that I don't
have much chance of losing my humility. Just mention the time I
inadvertently sent a 4-Meg PageMaker file to the entire list if I ever get
cocky... <blush>)

Moral: It's very easy to fall into the trap of blindly accepting someone
else's logic without determining its relevance in your own situation. That
way lies error.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"It is at this point that Shaftoe makes his Big Decision. It is surprisingly
easy--but then, really stupid decisions are always the easiest."--Neal
Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


Planning to attend IPCC 01, October 24-27 in Santa Fe? Sign up by
October 3 and get a substantial discount! Program information,
online registration, and more on

Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE. Can "either" be used if there are three or more selections?
Next by Author: RE: How to document multiple user roles? (take III)
Previous by Thread: Re: Word choice (was: Display or appear (Was: Can "either" be used ... ))
Next by Thread: RE: Word choice (was: Display or appear (Was: Can "either" be use d ... ))

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads