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He makes several good points as always, but he also can be a bit extreme, IMHO. For instance, Nielson sees essentially no future for WAP -- I doubt that. But his observations about not requiring a big learning curve for site navigation are right on.
Designing with his point of view would bypass a lot of browser compatibility issues -- and a lot of potentially useful "features" as well.
The readers' comments for this article are also excellent.
The interesting thing is that while the intent (I think) of the article is to remove complexity and have a functionally simple design that works for (all) users, most often functional simplicity can only be produced through elusive insight by the great masters.
There is an element to the Web that is part advertisement, part entertainment, part textbook, and part shopping channel. This is probably because it uses a screen that very much looks like a TV. As users flip channels (Surf the Web) they want one or more of these things, to reduce all of these elements to the same design and function would be analogous to every TV show and movie plot being the same so that it is more easily followed.
Besides, this seems to be a pre-occupation of adults, ever watch kids surf the net? they have no problem getting around anywhere they go, unless the navigation is simply bad i.e they can't find anything to click on.
Does Mr. Nielsen have a site that can be looked at, it would be interesting to see it's design.
If you do a search on his name, you'll find lots more -- he's all over the place since he left Sun, and he's also a fun interview who shows up on Wired, ZDNet, etc.
I think I get what he's saying, but I also get easily bored on his sites -- they're all so left brain! However, I do think he'd be pretty happy with WebmasterWorld!
I just read an interview of Nielson [zdnet.com] by John Dvorak -- Nielson doesn't approve of sites that open up a new browser window for off-site links.
He got lots of flack in the feedback column for that one. I agree that opening new windows can be overdone, but sometimes it's perfect. Like on IXQuick where you click on a link in your search results and the page opens in a new window. You can browse very comfortably and know that your original search results page is just one click away when you need it.
He did a wonderful job on the design at Google eh?
joined:June 21, 2000
I make the window resizable and I give it a status bar (this really helps, IMO) but I don't give it a text navigation window -- this way the user can follow links within the new window but they can't type in a new URL without returning to the original page.
joined:June 21, 2000
You are correct there Tedster. I use drop down java script menus for navigation. I did an experiment and put in invisible links on pages pointing to a page that existed but had never been listed in the SEs. Few months later they started showing.