SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] what are best practices (was OT: Library Thing)
Re: [Sigia-l] what are best practices (was OT: Library Thing)
> Best practices are guidelines. Heuristics. Rules of thumb.
Best practices are emphatically NOT guidelines, heuristics, rules of thumb,
etc. Otherwise, they would be called one of those. There are no practices
better than all other possible ones. They are not even called *good*
practices. Certain "practices" are called "best" because some people want to
*you* to adopt them. There's almost always an overt or covert reason why
they do, and it's rarely altruistic. Best practices are the enemy of
innovation and excellence. They discount deviations from orthodoxy. They
dull growing minds, especially in young designers. Two examples just from
today's reading material:
Case # 1/Medicine
The findings by the Australians in the early 1980's went so against medical
thinking, which held that psychological stress caused stomach and duodenal
ulcers, that it took many more years for an entrenched medical profession to
Two Australian scientists who upset medical dogma by discovering a bacterium
that causes stomach inflammation, ulcers and cancer won the 2005 Nobel Prize
for Physiology or Medicine yesterday.
I admit it: during my spring 2004 seminars, I downgraded cross-platform
compatibility to a one-star guideline (that is, "worth thinking about if you
have extra project time, but not a priority"). At that time, almost
everybody used Internet Explorer and the business case for supporting other
browsers was getting pretty tough to defend on an ROI basis.
Today, however, enough people use Firefox (and various other minority
browsers, like Opera and Safari) that the business case is back: don't turn
away customers just because they prefer a different platform.
Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, October 3, 2005:
Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005
I'll let you ponder the penalty we all paid in following those two "best
For when you've run out of your own ideas and context.
When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
*Plain text, please; NO Attachments
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: Fri Oct 07 2005 - 04:42:56 EDT