fatal exception

a blog about sundry things


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I really, really hate Jakob Nielsen’s website. Not that I don’t think that he means well, but I find it completely ridiculous that someone who goes on about “usability” has a terribly designed website. I understand that his emphasis is on function over form, but even so, he’s chosen a colour scheme and typeface that doesn’t lend itself to easy reading, and he has a subpar navigation system. The whole thing has a very late-nineties, designed-on-Windows-98 feel, and it simply feels archaic for the needs of people in 2010. I do prefer simpler website designs over sites that are loaded with Flash, Ajax, and other ‘shiny’ web technologies that just slow your computer down, but that doesn’t mean that they have to look ugly! It’s really simple to just create a page with halfway decent typography and navigation that doesn’t look as though 1997 barfed it up.

I wonder if his attitude towards web aesthetics is related to something I mentioned earlier, about the divide between geeks and aesthetes. (Not that geeks can’t be aesthetes; I consider myself both, but many people seem to have this mentality that being geeky and aesthetically inclined are mutually exclusive.) It feels a bit like the Mac/PC debates, where Windows fans deride Mac users for wanting an attractive, intuitive, and simple interface, as opposed to something that’s less “pretty” and emphasises “geeky” skills.


Written by Finn

March 31, 2010 at 9:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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