Jacob Nielsen vs Web 2.0
Posted by the markITeer on May 21, 2007
In an article on the BBC news website, usability guru Jacob Nielsen accuses web firms of neglecting good design while rushing into the ‘Web 2.0 hype’. I tend to disagree.
To prove his point, Mr. Nielsen attacks the web communities and user generated content:
“The main criticism or problem is that I do not think these things [communities, user generated content] are as useful as the primary things“
“Most people just want to get in, get it and get out”
“Web firms rushing to serve the small, committed minority might find they make a site far less useful to the vast majority who come to a site for a specific purpose. “
First of all, Web 2.0 is more than the social web of communities. What about Service Oriented Architectures? What about Rich Internet Applications (see also ‘Web 2.0 unraveled‘)?
Secondly: Of course the basic information should be made easily accessible on any website. But I personally haven’t experienced any difficulties in finding it. In my opinion, communities and user generated content are offered more as an extension to the basics than as a replacement.
Thirdly, the ‘new design guidelines’ of Web 2.0 (large fonts, central layout, simple navigation, …) are a huge improvement in terms of readability and information access…. when properly used of course. But there will always be bad examples of good ideas.
Finally, I think Mr. Nielsen makes a very dangerous statement with his ‘attack’. I hoped for a more nuanced approach from a name with such an influence. But than again… attacking Web 2.0 nowadays is even more of a hype than Web 2.0 itself 🙂