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SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] The New Nielsen?

Re: [Sigia-l] The New Nielsen?

From: christina wodtke (cwodtke_at_eleganthack.com)
Date: Tue Jul 16 2002 - 10:26:56 EDT


If there is one thing that gets my panties in a bunch, it's a sentence that
starts "the web is" (or is not) thus

> The largest issue was not raised at all...the opening line:
> "increase their enjoyment and encourage them to explore websites in-depth"
>
> Hogwash! Find the evidence. The value equation of the Web as a channel is
> not for entertainment or exploration. The value equation is in 'finding'
and
> 'doing'.

has me hopping about.

When Carbon IQ was working on the Shockwave.com / Atomfilms venture you bet
your sweet knickers the web was a channel for entertainment and exploration.
Financially and economically viable. Hollywood is churning out the movie
sites. also justifiable... Blair witch and AI both helped promote the buzz.

And why is "Financially and economically viable" the only sites to be
allowed on the web? What about art museums, personal projects, ezines,
blogs? A part of the web's value is its diverse publishing sources.

I think Nielsen might have instead said "encourage them to take advantage
the full value of a website" since a bad interface can keep people from
realizing the things they need and want are available. But "in-depth"
doesn't mean click every page in the site. and it doesn't mean wander
about-- it simply means look a deeper than the surface. It is possible an
in-depth exploration of google is two pages, maybe three. On another site
it might be five pages, or twenty. A good interface will encourage a user to
move beyond the front page-- we all do this often with Amazon, wandering
into "look inside" and "user comments" and "the page you made." Amazon is
the prototypical good website, increasing our enjoyment and allowing us to
explore in-depth.

Enjoyment can be part of the equation, any equation. Seeking a doctor? it's
a pleasure to find one quickly and easily. Shopping for shoes? you might
look at every page on shoes.com with delight (well, you would if you were my
sister).Researching a term paper... if you find good research that is
represented well, the joy of seeing an idea take shape is powerful. Looking
at fine art? I've spend hours wandering through the Web museum
http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/ but my pleasure would be increased by a better
looking interface, such as the also delightful Thrift Store Art Gallery
http://www.hugemagazine.com/thrift/ or the lovely exquisite corpse
http://anexquisitecorpse.net/

attractive things work better
http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/Emotion-and-design.html

the web is a medium, nothing more, nothing less. it's like wood-- usable for
furniture and sculpture. both of which can be pretty or ugly, as need be.

If you dictate what goes on it, and how it must be designed, you are the new
Nielsen.

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