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Damian Rees <[log in to unmask]>
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Damian Rees <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Sep 2000 15:02:55 +0100
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Hi all,

I just wanted to post this to get some opinions from you all, regarding the
relationship between usability and creativity.

Mark Hurst's Creative Good has recently posted a critique of Dr Martens site

Although this critique is fair comment, I think this highlights some
problems for our credibility as Usability Professionals, as we are often
seen to be rather opinionated and lacking evidence in reviews such as these.
Jakob Nielsen is just as guilty of this approach, if not more. I feel that
if we are associated too much with this type of subjective, opinion-led web
site critique we are in danger of losing credibility as objective,
scientific and research informed professionals.

This type of comment tends to miss the point that sometimes the strategy
behind a site is to be creative, exciting, engaging, provocative and so on.
Sites such as this are often developed to engage a particular type of
audience, and usability may not be the top priority. I am not arguing for or
against this approach, rather, I am attempting to point out that we must be
a little more realistic in our approach and understand that for
non-ecommerce sites, usability is often less of a priority than creating an
attention grabbing site, therefore a comparison to is a little
misguided. For example the cartoon history on is not
intended to be particularly usable, I believe it is intended to be more of
an interactive, pleasurable experience without any specific attention upon
helping a user achieve a specific goal.

What are your thoughts ?

Damian Rees
Usability Engineer
85 Clerkenwell Road
London EC1R 5AR
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7831 3630 (x493)
DDI: +44 (0) 20 7440 6793
Fax:+44 (0) 20 7831 0181

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