Design critique of Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen is a legendary usability crank who writes great little columns called "AlertBoxes" wherein he runs down his best practices for one or another element of usability (I always forget to read these because I can't find any RSS or Atom for Jakob's site and it updates too infrequently to put it in my regular Moz tab-group bookmark; nevertheless, some of Nielsen's pieces, like the Microcontent thing from 1998 have been very influential in my blogging style)

Last week's AlertBox was about link-style, and it's pretty good and sensible. — Read the rest

Good Jakob Nielsen AlertBox on

Good Jakob Nielsen AlertBox on designing the PR section of your Website to make journos happy.

In our study, we visited journalists where they work. Many journalists are freelancers or work from home, typically using slow dial-up connections. Many also have old computer equipment and do not feel an obsessive need to download all the latest software.

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Nielsen's top-10 blog usability mistakes

Jakob Nielsen, the legendary usability curmudgeon, has released a list of the top-ten usability mistakes on weblogs. I agree with nine of them but take exception to "8. Mixing Topics" in which he advises bloggers to restrict themselves to narrow subject-ranges. — Read the rest

Updated: Nielsen: User-education won't fix security

Jakob Nielsen's AlertBox is a good source of cranky, well-structured rants about what's wrong with the interaction design online. This week's is about security, and why user-education is not the answer. Our tools conspire against us to make us less secure, and if we're to be made more secure, our tools will have to be enlisted to work on our behalf. — Read the rest

People really, really suck at using computers

The OECD's 2011-2015, 33 country, 215,942-person study of computer skills paints a deceptively grim picture of the average level of computer proficiency around the world — deceptive because it excludes over-65s, who research shows to be, on average, less proficient than the 16-65 cohort sampled.

TV vs Web: consumption characteristics

On cranky usability guy Jakob Neilsen's Alertbox, this wonderful chart on the relative "consumption" characteristics of TV vs the web.

Velocity of Media Consumption: TV vs. the Web

(via ResourceShelf)

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Things computers can only do in movies

The Programming Blog's list of things that computers can do in movies is like a requirements document for a Movie OS (there's almost certainly a Linux out there that has been engineered to act like a Movie OS already). Many movies — even contemporary movies — treat computers as plot devices, allowing them to do things that everyone in the theater knows is impossible. — Read the rest

Men stare at crotches

The Online Journalism Review reports on Jakob Nielsen's use of an eye-tracker to look at how different people read the Web — particularly news. There are lots of interesting findings, but the best is the revelation that men fixate on any visible genital areas in photos — even animals' crotches come in for a good eyeballing. — Read the rest

Search-engines kill the art of clever headlines

Cnet's Elinor Mills has a great article on the demise of "pithy, witty and provocative headlines" — the bread-and-butter of print publishing. You can win awards with a headline like "BASTARDS!" over a shot of the Twin Towers in flames, but in a search-engine results-page, that headline is invisible. — Read the rest

Story of the TiVo remote

The NYTimes covers the birth of the TiVo remote, one of the finest pieces of user-centered design I've ever encountered (if only there were some way to tell, without looking, whether you were holding it upside-down).

The peanut-shaped TiVo remote is at once playful and functional.

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