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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Victoria Morville <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 09:22:35 -0400
text/plain (143 lines)
I think the problem here is that everyone is trying to imagine their
company's web site designed in this manner, and for most of us this type of
site doesn't work.  Obviously, a site is designed with the company's goals,
image that they want to portray, and target users in mind.

This particular company's goal is to show how talented they are at
multimedia design - they wanted to entertain and impress - it's their
business and I think they portrayed that extremely well.  They're trying to
reach potential clients, and if I were looking for a company to do some
flash work for me, they would be first on my list.

Having said that, if this type of design were on a health information site
and I were researching information on Alzheimer's, this site would
absolutely annoy and frustrate me.  But I think there's room for both types
of web sites.  As Lou said, these types of sites will probably complement,
not replace existing information-rich sites.

I just think that you have to look at it in the context of what they are and
what they want to accomplish with this.

Vicky Morville
HealthGate Data Corp.

-----Original Message-----
From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Boniface Lau
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 1999 4:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What do you think?

Kristin Zibell wrote:

> 1. What do you think and how do you feel about this Web site*:
> *You need a sound card and shockwave for the
> effect.

Yes, I have both and even a pair of hi-fi speakers. Unfortunately listening
to the
constant pounding sound gave me headache, seeing the series of rapidly
pictures made me dizzy.  And I couldn't quite make out on what the voice
over was

> 2. I think it makes two important statements that speak loudly in favor of
> future of the Web:
> + The days of the Web being a source of information, like a library, are

That sounds like the prediction when TV first appeared in homes. At the
time, people
were predicting the end of radios, printed newspapers and books. But today,
media are still very much a part of people's live.

Speaking of "source of information," images and sounds with little
information are
boring. That is why survey after survey have revealed that more and more
people are
turning off their TV sets and going to the web. Hence, a TV look-alike web
site will
turn most web users away.

> It will no longer be recognizable from its initial browser-based form. I
> that it will be an all-sense all-consuming interactive experience

All-consuming? Indeed! I felt so all-consumed "by" that I
stand it. Constant stimulation quickly overloads the sense organs.
Immediately after
I left that site, my ears felt a sense of relief. Whew!

Speaking of "experience," had I wanted song and dance, I would have gone to
a disco.
Had I wanted the constant bombardment of TV sound and images, I would have
turned on
my TV. When I go to a web site, I look for a different type of experience.

Just as a home with bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens each designed for a
type of activities, people should realize that a web site is not a disco.
Failing to
make the distinction will lead to things like having meals inside a
bathroom. Yes,
you can do that. But it is gross. So is blasting sound and ever-moving text
graphics at the users. Did it ever occur to the site developers of that users might need a quiet moment to
concentrate on
what was written. When was the last time anyone read a book in a disco?


> + The HTTP and TCP/IP protocols will no longer govern what message goes
over the
> medium

A web site is about communications, not applying the latest technology to
blast at
the users. Master communicators recognize the abundant power in simple
common words.
But people who lack communication skills found the common words grossly

> , 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
> dramatically than it already has.

I am not sure about that. But Shockwave does magnify the differences between
communication have and have-not.

When used by people with communication skills, Shockwave can add a new
dimension to
a message. When used by people lacking such skills,  Shockwave shouts at the
audience and the message got lost, let alone adding a new dimension.

Shockwave is like the hi-tech version of blinking text. But the annoyance
level is
many times higher when used by the communication have-not.

Boniface Lau