Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet

Web 2.0 Distracts from Good Design 176

stevedcc writes "The BBC is running a story about web 2.0 and usability, including comments from Jakob Nielsen stating "Hype about Web 2.0 is making web firms neglect the basics of good design". From the article: "He warned that the rush to make webpages more dynamic often meant users were badly served. Sites peppered with personalization tools were in danger of resembling the 'glossy but useless' sites at the height of the dotcom boom."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Web 2.0 Distracts from Good Design

Comments Filter:
  • Old fashioned (Score:4, Interesting)

    by andy666 ( 666062 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:14AM (#19113509)
    I stick to html, since everyone can read it (mostly). And I hand code it, since most of the editors seem to make a real mess of the code, and sometimes I want to change it. Anyone else this old fashioned ?
    • Re:Old fashioned (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mouse42 ( 765369 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:23AM (#19113625)
      Really? Thats considered old fashion? I figured everyone these days hand coded their HTML with close integration with CSS, because thats the only way you can really ensure a minimal amount of code, cross browser compatibility, good SEO, and ease of updates.
      • Re:Old fashioned (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cultrhetor ( 961872 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:32AM (#19113759) Journal
        Dreamweaver wouldn't be so popular if everyone took this sensible route. I once had to unscrew about 15 pages created by Dreamweaver and Fireworks. It took forever - each page, despite coming from the same "template" was messed up in its own unique way.
        • by Xiaran ( 836924 )
          I hear you on Dreamweaver brother(or sister). Ive often wondered when staring at the monstrosity of HTML that get ejected from the bowls of such products, "Is it not possible to develop some kind of page generating tool that actually generates code that is *vaguely* human readable?". I mean it should be. Ive often thought it would be useful to use such a tool to create a basic prototype in a quick and easy fashion and then take that base to tweak into the real site. Im thinking along the lines of tools such
          • Re:Old fashioned (Score:5, Interesting)

            by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @10:36AM (#19114825) Homepage
            The point is, is that they don't want to make it possible. By making the resulting html not human readable, they lock you into using their application to edit it. So once you have hundreds of pages developed in dreamweaver, it's very hard to move away from using dreamweaver.
            • Re: archaic (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              So once you have hundreds of pages developed in dreamweaver, it's very hard to move away from using dreamweaver.

              $reply = subst($parent,"dreamweaver","Word"); // heheh
              Using Microsoft Frontpage makes what you say nigh IMPOSSIBLE.

              Back on topic:
              When Ye Olde Macromedia bought up Allaire Homesite, they gobbled and buried what was the best by-hand HTML editor on the market. Back in the Dreamweaver 3 & 4 days, all that Javascript hoojimawaja was best left as an "Action". I didn't want to know what it did... Just if it looked nice when I resized my NN4 window.

              It's all well and good to say "I code by hand", you probabl

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by mibus ( 26291 )

              The point is, is that they don't want to make it possible. By making the resulting html not human readable, they lock you into using their application to edit it. So once you have hundreds of pages developed in dreamweaver, it's very hard to move away from using dreamweaver.

              Sorry, what? I do web-dev for a living, and our team currently has two designers using DW for HTML generation. While it's not a beautiful work of art, it's hardly locking you in to using DW only.

              The thing locking people into DW is that i

        • Re:Old fashioned (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DittoBox ( 978894 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @10:14AM (#19114435) Homepage
          Don't discount Dreamweaver. It's editor is absolutely top-knotch.

          Now it's definitely not emacs, eclipse or VI(M) but it's awfully good and has nice auto-complete features. And if used properly it can help you stick to standards better. It also can do direct FTP editing, another big plus for me.
          • Re:Old fashioned (Score:4, Informative)

            by slackmaster2000 ( 820067 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:39AM (#19115889)
            Agreed. Don't use Dreamweaver-specific features like templates, and never use the WYSIWYG editor. As an overall environment without all this extra crap, it's top-notch. A pretty decent editor with correct hints for HTML, CSS, and PHP, and proper project management that actually expects you to work on files locally, test on a testing server, and then publish to a production server. It's odd how many other packages can't get this right when it's such a painfully simple concept.
        • Well, at least it's not as bad as trying to unscrew pages made by FrontPage + Extensions. Those are a nightmare.

          And as to the GGP's question, yes, here's one more that hand codes. jEdit [jedit.org] rocks...
      • > Really? Thats considered old fashion? I figured everyone these
        > days hand coded their HTML with close integration with CSS,
        > because thats the only way you can really ensure a minimal
        > amount of code, cross browser compatibility, good SEO, and
        > ease of updates.

        Well I guess this *is* old fashioned. Right now you tend store the content in a database of some form. Some form like XML structure. Then you load this structure and transform it to HTML. The only thing that you handcode is the templa
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Mouse42 ( 765369 )
          Personally, I use Drupal to run my sites. Even though the content is stored in a database, and the site is run on PHP, I still have hand written my template files.

          Sometimes, it's more efficient to go back to the basics :) I just created my first static site in three years the other day. It's a four page site, and the owner knows HTML rather well. It actually would have been more complicated for him to learn how to use Drupal to change the text on the site than it would be for him to edit the HTML pages d
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by kosmosik ( 654958 )
            Well you didn't got me. I meant that doing HTML line-by-line style is old-fashioned. Currently we tend to output HTML elements via XML transformations and so on. Meaning that you do not hand code but the application code generates document nodes/tags automatically. Like (but this is oversimplyfied imagined presentation language).

            echo "<title>"
            echo $title
            echo "<title>"

            vs.

            html_render_title($node.title)

            The first one is prone to typos (as you type tags by hand), the other one not because function ge
      • I'm with you. I mean, I know everyone doesn't do that. They use Frontpage and Dreamweaver and whatever, but I'm with you in that it's how it *should* be. I'm supposed to do my cousin's company's website (though "make it blue" isn't much to go on, so until she gives me something like "I need these categories: __, ___, __" not much is happening), and I do it by ssh-ing into the server, starting up vim, and typing out a bunch of php files. The php isn't for programmy stuff (though dynamic navbar is somethi
    • Re:Old fashioned (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mangu ( 126918 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:26AM (#19113667)
      Anyone else this old fashioned ?


      I also stick to hand-editing html, however I also use a lot of automatically generated html. For instance, when formatting a computer language for syntax emphasis automatic coding not only saves work but makes less errors than hand coding. Also, when creating tables I often use small Perl scripts to insert the data into the html.


      But I always cut and paste the result into an html file that I edit by hand. I've never found a WYSIWYG html editor that gives me full control over how my pages will look.

    • I stick to html, since everyone can read it (mostly).
      Alas, it's already too late for that. I still find sites that won't render correctly on browsers other than the one the developer used.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm with you. People keep getting me to try Dreamweaver, but I always find myself using the code editor anyway, fixing whatever mess Dreamweaver made then adding my own stuff instead of clicking through their interface. Takes more time to change a value in a style sheet than just typing it, and not nearly everything is listed in their GUI anyway.
    • by Tuoqui ( 1091447 )
      Actually I hand-code just about everything in valid XHTML Strict. Integrated with CSS and hand written javascript and PHP. It is the only way to be certain that some editor isnt shoving in random useless garbage like a crapload of comments with 'CREATED WITH X-EDITOR! (C) 2007!'
    • Sure. Strict HTML 4.01 Transitional here, no CSS, and alternative access testing for Lynx users and those who can't use frames directly.
    • Nvu and Kate is what I use.
      I really dislike sites that use flashy content but don't have an alternative access to a simplified version. Whenever I encounter one I won't even bother using it in the future.
    • Absolutely.

      I've had the great pleasure of modifying and/or debugging the sweet, elegant code created by Front Page and Dreamweaver that my wife insists upon using on her web pages </sarcasm>. While I had been interested in using automated tools at one time, the first time I had to wade through all of the extra crap these two programs dump into even a simple page (XML included into a static web page? <FONT> tags surrounding a line of HTML that only contains an <IMG> tag? No formatting
  • by AltGrendel ( 175092 ) <ag-slashdot@@@exit0...us> on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:14AM (#19113511) Homepage
    Web 2.0 doubly so.

    Seriously, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rob Kaper ( 5960 )
      Moderation, and making things optional. Keep content and interactivity alive with Javascript disabled and chances are that whatever you're doing with "Web 2.0" is not ruining your design.

      And what most people don't even realise: it's actually the easiest way! Don't write a completely new interface in AJAX, instead just call existing pages with an additional xml=1 parameter. The target page still does whatever you want it to do on the server-side, with the only difference that it sends back the XML (or encode
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:18AM (#19113563) Journal

    stevedcc writes "The BBC is running a story about web 2.0 and usability, including comments from Jakob Nielsen stating "Hype about Web 2.0 is making web firms neglect the basics of good design".
    What does Web 2.0 have to do with people neglecting the basics of good design? As far as I can tell they have always done that.

    From the article: "He warned that the rush to make webpages more dynamic often meant users were badly served. Sites peppered with personalization tools were in danger of resembling the 'glossy but useless' sites at the height of the dotcom boom."
    Hmmmm "glossy but useless" ? Is the author talking about all these 'news' sites that are dripping with advertisements interspersed with only a small to modest amount of content? The web sites of today are looking more and more like magazines of yesterday; >60% advertisements and 30% content, where the difference is filled with trying to find the table of contents or the 2nd and 3rd parts of the story buried deeply in the magazine with incorrect page number links to them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ngarrang ( 1023425 )
      Amen, brother. There were visually-poor web sites long before "Web 2.0" was coined.
    • by Yer Mom ( 78107 )

      The web sites of today are looking more and more like magazines of yesterday; >60% advertisements and 30% content

      Except Adblock Plus didn't work on yesterday's magazines, of course.

    • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @10:41AM (#19114901)

      What does Web 2.0 have to do with people neglecting the basics of good design? As far as I can tell they have always done that.

      It's a story that reoccurs every few years when a new technology comes along. Somebody comes up with a new technique/technology/approach, and gets a lot of attention because it's quite useful. Then the hype engine goes into overdrive, PHBs start putting it on job advertisements, and people get book deals. A multitude of copy & paste monkeys buy the books, get the jobs and apply that technique/technology/approach to everything they see, with no understanding of when it's actually useful. The industry gets flooded with a bunch of one-trick ponies.

      This happened with frames, JavaScript, Java, Flash, DHTML, ActiveX, Ajax, and now it's "Web 2.0"'s turn. Eventually, the field will settle down and there won't be quite so many fanboys around — they'll either broaden their skills and get a clue, their business will fail, or they will get fired. And then things will be relatively stable until the next big thing comes along.

      So I guess you're right, this is an ongoing problem, but it's still news when the cycle starts again.

      • Right, it's not so much that Web 2.0 itself is distracting web companies from the basics of good design as it is the rush to go Web 2.0 that is the source of the distraction. At least, that's what I got out of RTFA.

    • Is the author talking about all these 'news' sites that are dripping with advertisements interspersed with only a small to modest amount of content? The web sites of today are looking more and more like magazines of yesterday; >60% advertisements and 30% content, where the difference is filled with trying to find the table of contents or the 2nd and 3rd parts of the story buried deeply in the magazine with incorrect page number links to them.

      That sounds a lot like the nerd computer sites that I no longer
  • by packetmon ( 977047 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:19AM (#19113573) Homepage
    You mean I could no longer get a job [infiltrated.net] with my pimped geocities/xoom/fortunecity skills?
  • Yep. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:20AM (#19113597)

    He warned that the rush to make webpages more dynamic often meant users were badly served. Sites peppered with personalization tools were in danger of resembling the 'glossy but useless' sites at the height of the dotcom boom.
    That was precisely my thought when I saw, side-by-side, the proposed look for a new W2 site vs. our current bland but functional site.

    Actually, I thought our current one *looked* better too.
  • by hendridm ( 302246 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:24AM (#19113635) Homepage
    Of all of the best practices that I've learned as a designer analyst over time, I've come to realize that management (with a bug in their collective bonnets about some new-fangled technology), do a better job of screwing up design and usability than the technology itself.
    • Mod +1 Perfect Response.

      Truer words have never been spoken... (err typed)
    • I've come to realize that management (with a bug in their collective bonnets about some new-fangled technology), do a better job of screwing up design and usability than the technology itself.

      Oh, so true. But in my experience, it's not usually new-fangled technology that's the problem. It's old-fashioned stuff: All 20 managers want their pet project/event prominently featured on the home page. Or every page must be cluttered with numerous "call to action" ads for free trials, newsletters, conferences, etc

  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:26AM (#19113671) Homepage Journal

    Adding simple fortune-cookie CGI scripts, html tables with round corners, and javascript mouse-hover-active colors doesn't really make a site more useful. Sure, they can add to the mood if everything else is already well thought-out, but they can't save a bad site. That's Web 1.0 gloss.

    With the newer sites, there's just as much crap that adds practically nothing. Expandable submenus in sidebars with cute > marks, dynamic community tagging options, dynamic community inbox viewing and sorting, and the ever-present use of rich gradient shading in every header tag. That's Web 2.0 gloss.

    Hrm... I seem to have described an awful lot of Slashdot features. Curious.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )
      You mean rounded corners etc like slashdot did with their style makeover??
    • You are correct that the techniques you described do not make software/webpages more useful, but they do make it more usable. That's the key difference here. The usability, likeliness, and efficiency of operation of software or a website can increase with a better design.

      Users having trouble extracting information from a page, or not having elements clearly outlined really inhibits an interface. I'm not saying that applying rounded corners to every design will help its usability, but I can guarantee that
  • I'll grant at any time that usability is the number one priority. But this kind of "backlash" *against* Web 2.0 technologies is misguided, and a kind of hype in itself. Technologies are tools--they can be used to good or bad effect, and you can't generalize about the tool by the sites that happen to use it.

    How can Nielsen miss the HUGE advancements in usability that these technologies have granted us? Sites that are designed as applications -- say, gMail -- no longer (as of years ago) have to be restr
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      These people don't have a single clue about a good website design, they just think "oh that is so awesome I must have it!", so they start swinging wildly at shadows and end up destroying the entire point of the process.

      Look at Myspace, these people go "OMG MUSIC ON MY WEBSITE! SO COOL!" but have no damn clue how annoying it is, or how it eats bandwidth and makes their profiles pretty much unusable for Dial up users. But they don't know about this because "ZOMG SO COOL!!!"

      See why there is a backlash now? Giv
      • by suggsjc ( 726146 )

        Give an idiot a hammer and tell him to knock down a wall and he'll take down the house. Give an expert a hammer and he'll knock the wall down without causing any damage to the building at all.

        So you're saying we should get rid of hammers because idiots can tear down a house with them???

        Not saying your are, but there seems to be a lot of this type of thinking here lately and quite frankly it is annoying. Stupid people will do stupid things, and there is not much you can do about it. There is, however, a

        • I never implied we should get rid of them all, but we need to balance it. Teach web 2.0 AFTER you've taught good design and function. a good basic site in plain old HTML is as good as any web 2.0 site.

          It's a case of teaching the idiots before giving them the guns.
    • I'll grant at any time that usability is the number one priority.

      I won't.

      For a business, making money is probably the number one priority. For a personal home page, maybe staying in touch with friends is the number one priority. For a non-profit, maybe raising awareness and informing people about the organisation is the number one priority.

      But usability? Usability is merely a means to an end. It is nothing without the end itself.

  • Hype about Web 2.0 is making web firms neglect the basics of good design, web usability guru Jakob Nielsen has said.

    I hate to steal his thunder, but when have web firms ever payed attention to good design? I'm sure that such companies do exist, but every contract I've seen for a website design has resulted in something that would look absolutely gorgeous in print, but lacks usability when transfered to the more interactive medium of the web.

    If you ask these firms to follow a particular procedure for develop

  • What I find... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:38AM (#19113851) Journal
    What I found, first when most of the literate people here split for Multiply, again when I was offered a moderator spot on another 2.0'ish site, and with other sites since, is that there's now an asumption that users are already familiar with all the generic functionality of delic.io.ous, Flickr, Digg and the rest. No one ever explains how to use "tags" or stuff like that -- it's as taken for granted as clicking on hyperlinks.

    The makers seem either unaware of or uninterested in users who aren't already knee-deep in their competitors.

  • Pssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) * on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:39AM (#19113879) Homepage Journal
    Sure, blame Web 2.0 for your horribly designed web pages.

    The man in the article himself states clearly Web 2.0 is simply the "latest fad". It's simply the most recent in a long stream of red herrings chased by ignorant companies in an attempt to be web savvy.

    The root of the problem is that the people who understand web design and make webpages are beholden unto managers, bosses, and other autorities who haven't the faintest idea what a good webpage does or looks like. The web designers bring prototypes, designs and nifty things to these people and get asked stupid questions such as "Is it Web 2.0". They want everything the internet has to offer in their webpage, whether or not it makes any sense for it to be there.

    Web 2.0 is another potentially awesome facet of the internet being turned into a collective migraine for web designers.
    • by onion2k ( 203094 )
      If the majority of "Web 2.0" sites, or even just some "Web 2.0" sites, were corporation brochure pages, or media portals, or ecommerce sites, the types of sites that have a distinct separation between web team and management, then I'd agree with you. But they're not. The majority of prominent "Web 2.0" sites are personal projects that have gone big. The people in charge are the people who started coding and designing the website. The rest of the "Web 2.0" sites around are experimental sites from the people
  • A shining example of how to totally screwup what was once a useful best-in-class site: http://yodel.yahoo.com/2006/11/28/anything-good-on -tonight/ [yahoo.com]

    And now my bank is going down the same road with their online bill payment tool. *sigh*.
  • As if, web pages of "good design" were actually common before "Web 2.0".
  • Web 2.0 == Flash? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Colonel Angus ( 752172 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @09:49AM (#19114035)
    Sounds like Web 2.0 is just like Flash.

    Everyone gets such a hardon trying to come up with new crazy new ways of doing things that have been done the same way since the dawn of the interwebs. They forget that they've been done that way for a reason... they work. People know what to expect. And they find themselves at ease and in a comfortable state when surfing within those parameters.

    That's not to say there should be no innovation, but that innovation should make things easier to understand and use, not scare your customers away.
    • Web 2.0 is a lot like Flash. There are good uses for it and it can even enhance the user experience and design. It can also be overused and abused very easily.

      Take Google Maps [google.com] as an example of good and bad use. It works very well, helps the user make use of the site and has a nice simple and easy-to-use design. However, users can't easily bookmark pages and expect them to work (Yahoo! maps corrects this problem by constantly updating the URI instead of just a 'link to this page' HREF).

      Dynamic pages with
  • After all, web 2.0 helps me to design rich-client synergies, disintermediate semantic networking and, of course, let's not forget it can assist in syndicating standards-compliant widgets*. Try doing all that on your web 1.0, gramps!

    Oh and whilst I know that mangling the English language has become an artform here on Slashdot, surely "Web 2.0 distracts good design" is bad even by our (admittedly low) standards.

    * Courtesy of The Web 2.0 Bullshit Generator [emptybottle.org].
  • What is Web2.0? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jb_nizet ( 98713 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @10:02AM (#19114247)
    I've seen two definitions of Web2.0: user-contributed contents, and the use of AJAX/DHTML.

    The first characteristic doesn't need any new technology: Slashdot is a good example of a web site containing lots of user-contributed contents, and works for ages. No need for a 2.0 version of the web.

    The second one is newer: we already had DHTML, but didn't have XMLHttpRequest. This is where abuse can lead to bad design and bad usability, IMO.
    My advices to web developers: just because the content of your web site is dynamic and the site contains some forms doesn't mean you have a web application like GMail! Most of the time, it's just a web site, and should work like a traditional web site: the back button should work, opening pages in new windows or new tabs should work.
    Just because you may refresh the body of the page without reloading it entirely doesn't mean you should. Think about why frames are usually avoided when you plan using AJAX: it might cause the same annoyances.
    • by laffer1 ( 701823 )
      Web 2.0 is a marketing approach to sell new books by publishing companies and to single out some sites as "better" because they are new and improved. We've just relauched IE4. DHTML and IE channels are back again with new names and slightly new/different feature sets.
  • by sherriw ( 794536 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @10:02AM (#19114253)
    I use a bunch of Firefox plugins to improve my browsing experience... but I recently was stuck using a computer with only IE. I had totally forgotten how many sites were obnoxious. I don't mind some reasonable advertising, but sites seem to be increasing the percent of the screen given to annoying animated/Flash ads, huge colourful ads in the middle of the article, etc.

    The worst are the sites that underline every noun and if your mouse accidentally passes over one of those words, a big ad box pops up that you have to close. How did it ever occur to someone to make a site where you aren't even free to move your mouse around if you want to without your reading being interrupted?

    It also seems like the big, rich companies are the worst offenders. Like they can afford to piss off visitors, and we'll just take it... 'cause you know MSN is such a great site. Yuk. Usability has been going downhill since forever.... blaming web 2.0 is barking up the wrong tree. Maybe try blaming the boom of web advertising.
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EinZweiDrei ( 955497 ) * <einzweidrei@wildmail.com> on Monday May 14, 2007 @10:34AM (#19114797)

    Although people in their late 30s make very different use of the web to those in their teens, Mr Nielsen expects that when those teenagers grow up the time they spend online will diminish.


    Yeah...
    Just like our parents' generation grew up to watch less television.
  • Nielsen a sellout (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zakkie ( 170306 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @10:53AM (#19115097) Homepage
    Nielsen is a sellout and has no credibility. Shortly after releasing his "Flash is 99% bad" work, Nielsen took money from Macromedia, and suddenly it's not so bad:
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html [useit.com]

    Usability includes being able to access the content without using proprietary software, Jakob!
    • by drew ( 2081 )
      Am I the only person who finds it ironic that somebody who spends so much time talking about usability and readability still hasn't figured out the point of something as basic as margins? Good grief, his site just hurts to read no matter how wide I make my browser.
      • The lack of trailing br's at the bottom of the page is awfully noobish. By fitting the page exactly in the screen, he's showing the same anal tendencies (graphic designer obsessive layouts) he was supposed to be rebelling against.

        One good thing I can say, his homepage appears to be for dual monitors. Next, if he learns the IMG tag, he can tap the power of NCSA Mosaic.
  • What I don't understand is why the BBC is posting this now. Did Neilsen just speak somewhere?

    It's the same story he's been telling all along - so what makes it news? Why now?

  • MySpace is a horribly badly designed mess, but that doesn't mean all web 2.0 sites will be. Take a look at Trig.com (you could even listen to my geeky music there [trig.com] if you feel like it).

    Their business model is basically 'Myspace but not a horribly designed mess'. I'm sure there's also someone out there building 'Youtube with buffering and no comment spam', 'slashdot with editors' and so on.

    MySpace is the AOL of Web 2.0 - It got big early on, but it's not going to be long before people realise it's been left b
  • This confirms something I've always thought true, especially when I first saw CSS come out (although mostly with CSS 2.0, the much more troublesome incarnation). New technologies, whether it be AJAX (which is becoming known for being insecure), CSS, or even HTML when it first came out, do not equal instant good design. Even now, users of HTML, arguably one of the oldest markup languages on the internet (or the oldest most used markup), still utilize what have become poor features, notably the marquee tag
  • Useability isn't just about the consumer, the website has to make money and it really helps to have a less spartan design for more revenue opportunities. It's about balance and I can't fault sites for looking out for themselves at the expense of the consumer. Welcome to capitalism.
  • by Lijemo ( 740145 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @11:27AM (#19115663)
    There is a certain kind of designer that doesn't care about good design, but does care about anything that's new and "exiting" enough to generate buzzwords. There is another kind of designer that cares about good design and comes to new technology more thoughtfully.

    Thus when ANYTHING is new and buzz-wordy, it will be thrown randomly at websites helter-scelter but the first type of designer. Meanwhile, thoughtful designers look for positive and useful ways to incorporate it.

    If you go into a room full of people showing proper decorum except for one loud, obnoxious person, it is the loud obnoxious person that will stand out. Thus, at first, the throw-the-buzzword-at-the-screen examples of the new technology/trend will stand out.

    Eventually, the buzzword people move onto the next buzzword. At this point, either the thoughtful designers have figured out how to incorperate the technology/trend into good design (in which case it just becomes part of the basic fabric of the web, like CSS)-- or else they haven't, and it goes the way of the BLINK tag and those animated-gif "under construction" things.

    The fact that bad designers use the "next new thing" in really bad designs doesn't say anything one way or the other about what value the "next new thing" has to the web as a whole.
  • People always ask me what I think of new technology fads. I usually tell them to focus on concrete requirements and if they are doing it themselves, good engineering. The rest will take care of itself.

    The more I look into people's definitions of Web 2.0, the more I am convinced that it is just Web 1.0 plus hype. There is absolutely nothing new here-- online community pages have been up for a long time. And any site that wants to make it on the internet has *always* had to build a community of users arou
  • After Adobe bought Macromedia, the Macromedia guys took the Adobe Exchange, a fast and functional html site devoted to plugins and extensions, and rewrote it to work in flash. Now, it's slow, impossible to navigate, scrolling is disabled, the 'back' button is broken, it won't let the user determine font size, and searches are slow and not relevant. That's just a few of the problems...

    They've effectively locked new and old users out, and repeated pleas to bring back the old site have gone unheeded and the

  • Tribe.net [tribe.net] redesigned their home page to use "Web 2.0" around the beginning of 2007. Now users could drag the various boxes around, rearrange the home page, and choose which elements they wanted. (Except for the ads, of course, which were immovable.) The main effect was that "Tribe.net bug reports" became one of the most active groups. Tribe's traffic ratings in Alexa continued to slide.

    There are uses for the asynchrony of XMLHttpRequest, though. Try our search and rating box. [sitetruth.com] We have a site rating en

  • Moving Target (Score:2, Interesting)

    I think the problem with Nielsen's argument is that what he considers the "basics" have changed over the last 10 years. As an anal graphic designer AND a huge MySpace fan, all this complaining about usability (or lack of) is just "old design" snobbery. Eventually people have to wake up and realize that just because it's ugly doesn't mean it's diffucult or 'not fun' to use.

    Bottom line is that MySpace, to my knowledge, is the ONLY "web 2.0" site that allows (hacky) CSS and HTML to be manipulated by users at
  • And theres a total simple reason for that - the need to ensure content is delivered to the other side.

    previously it was low bandwidth and specs of computers that prevented the bells and whistles of the kind in this "2.0" being put on websites/services - the visitor's bw and computer wouldnt been able to handle all the load, so they were very scarcely used.

    now there is bandwidth. there is processing power. one would think that thing is solved now, and anyone could go on using cool widgets and whatnot i
  • From TFA: "He said sites peppered with personalisation tools were in danger of resembling the "glossy but useless" sites at the height of the dotcom boom."

    Eh? Since when was personalisation a feature of Web 2.0? Surely that's a feature of the bad old days of Broadvision and all that crap. I can't think of any recent sites that focus on personalisation. In fact quite the opposite: it's all about being part of the crowd.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @12:33PM (#19117045) Journal
    Google Groups (usenet) is an example of misuse of Web 2.0. Before that it had a pretty good HTML-based approach. Then they Ajaxified it, and it is clunky and jittery. It is hard to know whether a mouse-stroke "took" or not, and sometimes it resizes wrong. It just feels "unnatural".

    Lesson: Use Ajax *only* when "traditional" HTML is not a reasonable match. Don't reinvent the wheel when you don't have to. There are good uses for Ajax-like stuff, but this was just not one of them. Somebody at Google is fad chasing.
               
    • It is hard to know whether a mouse-stroke "took" or not, and sometimes it resizes wrong. It just feels "unnatural".

      We ran into that problem with our search/rating box. When you click on the search button, nothing visible happened immediately, confusing the user while the request was going out to the server and back. So we put "Searching..." and "Rating..." into the result area immediately when a request is made, for immediate feedback. Even though that text is often replaced with real results so fas

  • Pure HTML (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chord.wav ( 599850 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @12:47PM (#19117369) Journal
    I'm against entirely Flash-made sites. Not even Macromedia has a full site made in Flash, they use it only for the menu and landing-page banners. They don't put content you need to read in there.

    And they didn't yet come up with a simple solution for what IMHO are their main 4 problems:

    1 - One URL, One page. In order to direct a friend to a specific product in a flash site you have to tell him things like: Go to this URL, then click products, then click the shoes number X. OK, this may be a development problem but they could make it very easy.

    2 - Open links in new tabs/windows. This one is really annoying.

    3 - Content indexing. It is currently possible, but yet more attention is drawn to a normal HTML page than to a flash site.

    4 - Ability to copy/paste the text you are reading. This one is really a development problem but again, it can be made simpler.

  • web architects (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chdig ( 1050302 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @01:01PM (#19117627)
    It used to be that an art director would build the design for websites, but with dynamic and active websites (Web2.0 if, we need to use that word), a web architect is the new boss needed to run the show. That is, someone who understands template-based programming and information workflow enough to develop a solid basis for the designers to take over and make things look pretty. Oh yeah, and this person should also be able to direct the programmers to organize things in a useful manner for the designers as well. Until companies catch on and begin hiring website directors with these qualifications, they'll just continue to roll out that static, oh so pretty and dumb sites that they always have been.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )
      In this day and age, an architect in general (and I mean a real software architect, not the kind who take on the architect role without even knowing a thing about the things you mentionned) are rare. Really rare. Rarer than that.

      So an architect for emerging technologies is more or less inexistant, and the few that are found, get snatched at rediculously high salaries OR, total opposite, are being made fun at by people who don't know better and forced into lesser roles. Which means that most of these web app
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday May 14, 2007 @02:22PM (#19119161)
    ... I welcome our impending Web 3.0 overlords.

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.

Working...