I did not read Nielsen’s latest book, not sure I want to.

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror extracts from Jacob Nielsen’s latest book Prioritizing Web Usability, it is interesting how flash is still listed as a problem, a “two skulls” problem! this comes out in 2007?I respect Jacob Nielsen very much, though he is a problematic card to use with clients, as it tend to explode in your face.. I rather consider his guidelines as yet another professional reference, a way to evaluate aspects of my work, a severe and rigid one.So many Web UI standards are tied to circumstances that are no longer relevant, not only flash, take the default blue link color for example: today, that most of the rational web sphere has digested the need to differentiate the links from normal text, using colors, sometimes also underline, comes the question – does it have to be blue? are we still in a reality that most users are not familiar with hyper text and its behavior? I think not.As a designer I learned that no pioneering comes from just following rules, you should always have a doubt, never loose the curiosity and exploration. I think that In terms of UI, each time has its own trends, innovations and other factors that change the usage habits and acceptance. Therefore each project should have its own definition of the UI standards that match the usage cases for the target audience in this time.

4 thoughts on “I did not read Nielsen’s latest book, not sure I want to.”

  1. I agree. You shouldn’t take Nielsen that serious… you can find many good sites that don’t follow the “rules” and they are very user friendly.

  2. Hi Adi,

    I found you thru Linkedin.
    I’m currently working on a new internet venture and would like to meet with you.
    Since i couldn’t find you mail neither thru linkedin nor thru this blog this is the only way i have to contact you.
    I would appreciate it if you could get back to me at:


  3. Pioneering design should not be subjected to Nielsen sets of explicit rules.
    Nielsen’s set of rules is the result of studies, where measurements across common criteria are used in order to analyze the past, and based on the findings to predict the safe direction for the near future.
    His game is clever, walking on the thin line between popular and scientific he managed to sell to the masses comfortable action lists that will make them feel smarter while maintaining their addictions to familiar habits and routinely way of life.

    If you are willing to take the risk of being a pioneer, you should not adopt Nielsen rules.
    Another way to finance pioneering is on the meanwhile to learn from Nielsen’s talent to address the masses, providing them with almost the same product, and still make them believe they are witnessing something new that worth taking out their wallets.

    I know by now that if it will prove to be working I am willing to abandon all pioneering aspirations and use blue for the hyperlink saying “show me the money”.

  4. Hi Danny_Din,

    I am not sure I agree with your definition of Nielsen market strategy, his books and services are not relevant to the masses but to a relatively narrow, professional segment, I guess you’re part of this segment if you’re reading this blog :)
    I am more troubled by the perception that a generic set of rules can apply to any project, all users, all interfaces..
    That is part of our responsibility – designers, usability experts, product managers, our life will never be as easy as following a set of rules -1,2,3 – we have to think, make sense, make a difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *