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Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005 (24 posts)

  1. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

  2. winterwish
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    nice podz, thanks :)

  3. jennmiller
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Ironic, that site.

  4. Pizdin Dim
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Ironic, that site.

    Jennmiller: care to elaborate a little?

  5. jennmiller
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Aw, just my sense of humor, I suppose. Large default font, a gazillion links, yellow and teal boxes, a call for "short and scannable" on a page that scrolls for days, etc.

  6. Yeah, I think they overdid it with not using too small of a font.

  7. jaseone
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I think you will find that is your browser's default size for a font, I had a quick glance through the CSS and the font-size of the body text didn't seem to be specified at all.

    The content *is* short and scannable, for the most part there is a high contrast on the site and it actually conveys it's information quite well, not like most over designed sites. After all the internet is all about information sharing not about my website is prettier than yours...

  8. jennmiller
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I suppose you're right, guys. I guess it's just coincidence that no site I've visited in the last few years has font that large (unspecified, whatever). I didn't mean for it to be a big deal. Sure, the site has some good information and I appreciate the work that was put into it. Maybe I just need to change my screen res from 1280x1024 to something larger for the scrolling ;)

  9. Yngwin
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Nielsen's site is one of the most hideously designed (can you even use that word?) out there. Yes, he knows about usability, but he doesn't know a thing about design.

  10. Pizdin Dim
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Nielsen's site is one of the most hideously designed (can you even use that word?) out there. Yes, he knows about usability, but he doesn't know a thing about design.

    It's interesting that it only seems to be so-called "designers" who complain about the design aspects of useit.com, which is precisely what he's all about.

    Personally, I find it one of the very best websites out there. It achieves it's business goals flawlessly.

    Jakob argues that (for business websites), design counts for nothing unless it clearly supports usability. His spartan approach to design works very well because it doesn't detract from it's business purpose, unlike a so many commercial websites out there.

    So, while some of us will use phrases like "hideous", most of us will retort with:

    Who cares? If you think it's hideous, you're completely missing the point. Usability and relevancy of content is the only thing that matters to users. Users don't give a rats a!@# about art, only about information.

  11. Firas
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Guys, designers and usability types are on the same side. Really. There's no need to be demagogic about it. Good designers and good user interface designers have the exact same goal—how to communicate well, with the least amount of friction. Visually appealing aesthetics are just part and parcel of communication.

    pizdin_dim: we're all users of jakob nielsen's site…

  12. Pizdin Dim
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Good designers and good user interface designers have the exact same goal

    While I agree in theory, I'm not convinced that's what happens in practise. There's certainly plenty of evidence out there that suggests that (often) design gets in the way of usability, for no other reason than the designers wanting to impress, which of course, they often fail to do.

    As Jakob points out, there is still much to be learnt, even after 10 years.

    BTW: I wasn't appealing to anyone. Just responding to the "he knows nothing about design" hogwash.

  13. seidon
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Design is not usability. Usability is not design. Most sites are strong at one or the other, then there's Google. Minimal Design with tons of Usability. That's where the web is going folks.

    David Martinez
    http://www.seidon.com/

  14. Kassad
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Clearly, Nielsen focuses on "usability".
    All of his points are agreeable in this context except the point 4. there he touches the content that is not in context :)
    Also, admittedly, he compiled his list from user opinions.
    His design a piece of crap, really but that is not the point, here.
    So, I would refrain myself to criticize his design (though it is not "flawless") and consider his points which are valid.

    Though, to name his page "designmistakes" sounds really "ironic".
    In this context. :)

  15. Pizdin Dim
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Kassad: I don't understand what you mean by point (4) not being in context. Can you explain why short, scannable and to the point content is out of context?

    Also, any idea on how you could fix his "piece of crap" design and how that benefits users? Can you name some specific flaws?

    "Though, to name his page "designmistakes" sounds really "ironic". In this context. :)"

    I have no idea what that means. Must be just my inability with the English language. I mean, I understand every word in that sentence, but the sentence as a whole doesn't make sense.

  16. UserFriendly
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    It's possible to have sufficient contrast between text and background without using black on white. The light grey on these forum posts is easier on my eyes.

    The paragraphs stretch to almost 100% of the width of the page. Readability could be improved by using a shorter line length and perhaps increasing line height.

    Those two are the "specific flaws" that really reduce the usability of that website for me, but there are other things I'd do differently - Georgia for headings, a bit more colour, perhaps borders or backgrounds for the different sections (much like the alternating light grey/lighter grey backgrounds here) a bit more space above headings... and so on.

  17. Yngwin
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Well, isn't it ironic to talk about design mistakes when he so obviously doesn't care about design and makes many design mistakes himself?

    Of course his article is really about usability mistakes, about which he makes good points. But it is hard to read, because his line-length is way too long (unless you have a narrow browser window) and his line-length a bit too low. Also his article is quite long which seems to sin against his point 4. Not that I care about that, as long as the content is good.

    I also disagree with his point 9. Of course mistakes are made with fixed layouts, but his own non-design shows what problems crop up when you are using flexible layouts.

    Also, his front page is not very scannable - what do you need to look at first? Well, you'd better look away, because the colours are hideous. He doesn't care though, even though there is http://www.builtforthefuture.com/reuseit.php ...

    Ideally, usability and design go hand in hand. He makes the mistake to not care about design, which means he doesn't get his message across to the people he needs to reach most of all: the designers.

    Sad, isn't it? Ironic, yes indeed!

  18. Kassad
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    pizdin_dim:

    Please, forgive me but I could not stand not to have my little play with the words. This is just an easy-going chat about this and that there is no need to pick up on me :) Though, I would not avoid to answer your questions:

    All points are strict "usability" related, content is a different subject.

    I do not want to improve his "design" that was his own choice, though it looks simple and "old-fashioned".

    The last one:
    I refer to seidon's comment: "Design is not usability. Usability is not design."

    These are terms helping us to make discussions possible, otherwise we should include the "Big Bang", as well.
    That is why, I always try to constrain myself to "context" though, I admit, in this case I was just trying to be humorous :)

  19. Pizdin Dim
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Kassad: I wasn't picking on you specifically. If you don't mind me saying so: You seem a tad touchy.

    UserFriendly: The fluid design that Jakob uses is something I strongly subscribe to as well and would never consider that a "flaw". In fact, I believe it's a flaw and a sin to design in fixed width layout because that takes control away from the user, where control belongs. Users know how to resize the browser window and that's why content should be adaptable, not rigid.

    Yngwin: I don't think you'll find many people agreeing with you when you say Jakob "makes many design mistakes himself". Design and usability are very closely intertwined. Web design must ultimately be usability, not aesthetics. Minimalist design, like at useit.com works very well for exactly that reason: it puts the emphasis where it should be - content and user goals.

    Designers often bag Ebay, for instance, but their design is deliberately done to only support functionality and usability. I don't know if you remember boo.com, who have (rightly) gone out of business: great looking design but nobody could work out how to use their website.

    BTW: Please remember that these are just my opinions after all. Even though we may disagree on some points, as we obviously do, the whole purpose of this discussion is to do just that: voice our own opinions.

  20. robertm
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Some of you seem to be mistaking superficial style for design. That and usability are both subsets of design.

    Also, for those of you who claim "design doesn't matter," what makes one product that serves an identical purpose better than another? Why did the more expensive iPod kill the Rio? Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it is invalid.

    Besides the fact that his website is garish and butt ugly, my chief objection to the "usability mafia" is all of Nielsen's decisions are based on generalized poll results. But you can't apply the same rules to different audiences, for example, teens and senior citizens. But people preaching Neilsen ignore that he only caters to the lowest common denominator. The result is 1997: huge type, blue underlined links and a fluid layout that scales to 640x480. Bleh.

  21. Pizdin Dim
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    "But people preaching Neilsen ignore that he only caters to the lowest common denominator."

    No, that not true at all. They don't ignore it, because that's precisely the point. The lowest common denominator is what matters. Using words like "garish" and "butt ugly" only proves what I claim:

    If that's important to you, then pehaps you're missing the point.

  22. Pizdin Dim
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Although there are numerous definitions of the word "design", I trust you will all agree with me that it's definition, when applied to websites, must place most of the emphasis on behaviour and therefore interaction. The aesthetics are there purely in a minor "support" capacity. That's why comments like "yeah, but it's ugly" are purely subjective and don't really mean anything. What is not subjective however, is the usability or lack of it. Whether a website achieves it's business goals can easily be proven. Visuals, font choices, pretty pictures and other design aspects which make it "nice to look at", have very little to do with reality, despite what some of the so-called "designers" would like you to believe.

    After all, content is the only reason people come to your website. They don't come to admire the way it looks. Google is one of the ugliest websites on the planet. But it achieves it's goals splendidly.

  23. UserFriendly
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    pizdin_dim: I didn't mean to say that the flexible width design is a flaw. Although I wouldn't say fixed width design is a flaw either. In my opinion they both have their merits. Ideally what I'd like to be able to do is specify a minimum and maximum width.

    I just think that moving the text further away from the sides of the page would give it 'room to breathe' and make it a more comfortable experience for users.

  24. Kassad
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Yeah, it is just the same as with girls.

    I am a reasonable man so I would second "usability".
    For some unknown reason, I do always fall back to "design" :D

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