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CHI-WEB  October 1999, Week 4

CHI-WEB October 1999, Week 4

Subject:

Re: What do you think?

From:

Marc Crawford <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Marc Crawford <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 22 Oct 1999 13:26:12 EDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)

Ad 1: usability experts traditionally seem to hate graphics and animation. I
think it's good to keep in mind that a Web site can be a fun experience -
and not just valuable in terms of "I found it" or "I bought it" (both things
that robots or agents could also take care of).
In this case, I enjoyed the experience. I'll leave out the usual comments on
compatibility with old browsers, tiny monitors, and even accessibility, etc.
Instead I would rather point out some good things I noticed: availability of
"skip" on the movies, good readability, intuitive and minimalist navigation
system, and an overall focus on relevance (not cluttered). And the site even
loaded faster than lots of the other identity sites I've looked at recently.

Ad 2: I do not quite agree with your first point. I believe that there are
already multiple purposes for using the Web. Depending on the purpose, it
might or might not make sense to use cutting-edge technology. Informational
retrieval will always be one of the strongest features of the Web. And if I
am looking for a document, I can really do without a jazzed up look of pages
that take forever to load. The problem I see is confusion of the scope.
Everybody seems to think that the more features, products, and technology
they add, the better. I would say, try to figure out what you want to do,
get users involved in the process, and keep your focus on the main idea of
the site.
As far as your second point goes, sure - hide it! It has always bothered me
that everyday users have to deal with protocols, as well as technical URL
titles or error messages. Try to make users forget that there are sitting in
front of a computer... Nevertheless, there is still quite a bit of power in
TCP/IP that has yet to be fully integrated in other devices, e.g. in
hand-held devices and cell phones.

Ad 3: Oh, please. Computers have become quite affordable. And those who
can't save up a few hundred dollars for a used system can go to libraries or
Internet cafes all over the world. It has to do with priorities: do you
really need a 21" screen, a T1 line, or a gigaflop of speed to get most of
the things that are currently on the Web? I doubt it.
About accommodating all users everywhere: instead of compromising and trying
to fit everything on 640 X 480 (or even Web TV) browser sizes, without using
plug-ins, and only using images with less than 10k, why not try to develop
for different system capacities. Include low and hi bandwidth versions.
Allow them to skip things, turn off things, etc. Of course, this will
require even more usability testing - but that shouldn't bother us ;-)

Marc Crawford

Information Architect & Web Usability Consultant
OgilvyInteractive

http://www.ogilvyone.com/

PS: We are currently looking for Info Architects, Usability Specialists, and
Content Developers in our New York office. Please contact me if you happen
to be interested or know someone who is.



>From: Kristin Zibell <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: What do you think?
>Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 08:59:21 -0500
>
>Hello Web gurus,
>
>1. What do you think and how do you feel about this Web site*:
>http://www.balthaser.com/
>
>*You need a sound card and shockwave for the full effect.
>
>2. I think it makes two important statements that speak loudly in favor of
>the
>future of the Web:
>+ The days of the Web being a source of information, like a library, are
>numbered. It will no longer be recognizable from its initial browser-based
>form.
>I think that it will be an all-sense all-consuming interactive experience
>Web
>site to Web site. Mind you, not like the hype about virtual reality, but it
>will
>affect our lives as much as our cars and our televisions.
>+ The HTTP and TCP/IP protocols will no longer govern what message goes
>over the
>medium, but rather they will just be the underlying method, the hidden
>structure
>of all networked interfaces.
>
>3. I think it makes two statements that speak loudly in defeat of the
>future of
>the Web:
>+ The separation between the technology have and have-not will increase
>more
>dramatically than it already has.
>+ You can't accommodate all users everywhere. This highly-visual, advanced
>message delivery will provide more usability problems. The Web will go
>through a
>rebirth without having solved the problems from its original inception.
>
>Sincerely,
>Kristin Zibell
>
>IBM  |  AS/400e User Technologies
>

______________________________________________________
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