Journal: News & Comment

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
# 8:34:00 PM:

Can ugly be usable?

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Dave Shea points to Alex (no relation to me) Miller's website. Alex writes (scroll down to December 16 under "Design and Usability"—there don't seem to be any individual post links) that web usability expert Jakob Nielsen's site... ugly. The colors don't match, there is unreasonably large text and he needs to make that yellow bar at the top not have any left or top margins.

Of course, in theory, this site should be extremely usable. But here is my thought: design and usability are the same.

He's right. Others agree, as would, perhaps, Nielsen's colleague Donald Norman, based on the premise of his latest book. There has even been a contest to redesign Nielsen's site.

By the way, aside from being right, Alex Miller is 12 years old.


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