Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Interview with Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen interview on Flash and design failings of computer industry ...

"He calls Google's non-search products a "hotch-potch of weird stuff". He digs into sex and segmentation. And he also reveals his day rate...
What problems are new technologies like Ajax creating for usability experts?

I think the main problem is that they divert attention away from the most important things – things like clear communication, good product photographs, and simple navigation and search.

Ajax allows some things to happen a bit faster, but for the average website that isn’t the question. Users aren’t typically on the same page more than once anyway. There are cases where people do repeated actions, for example on a stock trading website where people manipulate listings for their portfolio. That could be a case where increasing the efficiency of these actions is important.

But on an e-commerce site where people are browsing through it, the question is not whether something is two seconds faster, it’s whether people can find something or have to spend five minutes doing it. Ajax can provide improvements in one area, but most problems on websites are of a vastly bigger magnitude.

You’ve talked a lot about participation inequality. Do you think any of the big community sites are tackling that effectively?

Probably no. And I don’t think it’s something that you can completely overcome. There are some sites that have taken steps to give enhanced profiles to more active participants. That encourages people to give more, and it doesn’t cost you anything to give them something back as what you often give them is free.

But that said, participation inequality will always be with us. It’s about shifting that graph so that 50% of users, rather than 90%, don’t participate. There will always be a large amount of people that don’t bother."    (Continued via E-consultancy)    [Usability Resources]

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