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Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005

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  • nice podz, thanks 🙂

    Ironic, that site.

    Ironic, that site.

    Jennmiller: care to elaborate a little?

    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.

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

    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…

    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 1280×1024 to something larger for the scrolling 😉

    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.

    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.

    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…

    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.

    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/

    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. 🙂

    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.

    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.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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