Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Useit.com has weighed in: this blog sucks!

Jakob Nielsen weighed in two weeks ago with his annual Top Ten Web Design Mistakes. Since we continue to work on the large-scale overhaul of our organization sight, I was feeling pretty high about that we'd managed to avoid 9 out of 10 of his mistakes, and the one we did violate, we did for good enough reason.

Then today he published the Top Ten Design Mistakes for Weblog Usability, and I failed on nearly every score.

This sight has been semi-moribund for months as I try to determine if blogging about my professional life is actually compatible with my profession. When I think of the necessary improvements, it's a little daunting.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Andreas said...

I just scanned over the weblog usability points; some of them just seem odd.
I have my own blog where I post personal things and programming articles, violating the do not mix content rule, and somehow I don't think posting a photo of myself is going to make my code better or more credible.
Irregular publishing frequency? So if I don't have time or content to publish regularly, I should not post at all? Anyway, that's what RSS is for - you get notified when there is new content and don't waste time visiting stagnant blogs (this is how I came here today).
And having your own domain is nice, but it usually requires you to have your own hosted website as well, which can add up to quite a bit of money if you want it to be totally provider-ad-free.
Overall I think content rules; nothing else can make up for it or detract from it to make it worthless (although somebody will probably prove me wrong).

One last rant: Point 9 of the web design mistakes is actually a benefit in my opinion. I always run my browser full screen on a big monitor, and reading paragraphs that span the whole screen width is just cumbersome, as is fiddling with my browser window size.

I weighed in and your blog does not suck!

8:30 AM  
Blogger EB said...

Re: your "one last rant", point 9 of the web design mistakes was the one we chose to violate. We are using a fixed page width, and there are some very good reasons to do so. But there are good and bad ways to do this...we probably all agree that fixed page widths are bad if they induce a lot of horizontal scrolling.

As for content mixing, there's obviously nothing WRONG with it, but it probably does hurt a blogs readership in the long run. I think he's clear to point out that he's offering advice for blogs that wish to grow their readerhsip to larger audiences. To do that, I think you do have to establish the blog as a destination for information of a particular type... political opinion, humor, programming tips, whatever.

The best job of straddling multiple domains that I regularly visit is PZ Myers' site. And there I think he does a very good thing in having a link to view the science-only portion of his blog.

11:17 AM  
Blogger EB said...

But thanks for taking the time to talk me down from the ledge.

11:18 AM  
Blogger bill said...

I'd question who gets to decide this useability stuff. My bet is, you do. Take advice, sure. But temper it with your own judgement.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Deakster said...

Jacob is a dinosaur. I really wouldn't worry about your blog. Jacob is HTML and text. We live in the era of web 2.0 and the guy has been left well behind because he can't keep up.

MySpace (even though I don't like the concept), is very very successful and breaks a lot of Jacob's rules. Does this bother the many millions that use the site?

Seriously - I wouldn't worry. Jaocb's site sucks more than your blog.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Clara said...

I just discovered your blog and it looks like it would be a great resource -- if you are thinking about reviving it I would be an eager reader.

2:36 PM  
Blogger goodmangood said...

一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。.........................

3:00 AM  
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11:24 AM  
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