Web 2.0 Hype Hinders Usability

Now this is a potentially hot story. The Danish usability expert Jakob Nielsen, here in a BBC report, argues that because of the Web 2.0 hype, most sites have ignored basic rules about usability for ordinary people. Instead, they focus mainly on the geeks.

Nielsen said sites peppered with personalization tools were in danger of resembling the “glossy but useless” sites at the height of the dotcom boom. He noted that research into Web use shows that sites were better off getting the basics right.

New generation sites might look interesting, but they are very hard for ordinary people to use since they focus mainly on the desires of the digital vanguard.

The Dutch lifestyle magazine Bright discovered that the digital vanguard took a thorough look at Nielsen’s own weblog Useit to see whether he practices what he preaches. For sure, his blog is not really an example of perfect usability, even in Web 1.0 terms. Friendly people have now created an unofficial weblog called What if Jacob Nielsen had a blog?

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