what site's frustrating you today? things that make sites difficult to use

Friday, February 11, 2005

Vague Websites

From DarrenBarefoot.com

Everyone’s familiar with the vague website. That’s the one where you arrive at the home page and, after a full minute of analyzing the corporate-speak and stock photography, have no idea what they do. Rob, my first grade buddy, passes on Huh Corp, an excellent send-up of this phenomenon. Read more...

Tech Peeves

Do you have peeves that result from technology in one way or another but not specifically related to the web? Here's a blog for you: Tech Peeves

Albertson's: A Cast Study in Technology Making People Stupid

Dont' you get tired of people for using technology for technology's sake? Site's that have flash and all the other bells and whistles just for sh!t and giggles? There is a time and place for everything and when you get to that time and place you need to make so you have the proper implementation and that once implemented your business philosophy and decisions account for the changes that technology introduces at every point along the spectrum. Here's a real-world example. Albertson's: A Cast Study in Technology Making People Stupid

WebAbility :: web design that enables

Things for designing successful sites...web design that works: WebAbility

Hakon Gets Hot :: Opera to MS: Get real about interoperability, Mr Gates

As an extreme advocate of accessibility and usability designing with web standards is a must.

Last week Bill Gates got the interoperability religion. Allegedly - given Microsoft's long and sometimes less than constructive history in the field of interoperability, a certain amount of scepticism is perhaps appropriate. Hakon Lie, Chief Technology Officer of long-standing Microsoft competitor Opera Software, welcomes Gates' new-found enthusiasm for interoperability, but in the following response to Gates, has just a few suggestions about what Microsoft might do to actually achieve it. Read more...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Graphic designers are not web designers!

As an established member of the technology community I encounter things on a daily basis that simply frustrate me or otherwise enamore me. Technology is my both my muse and my nemesis. By the same token the users of technology present the same spectrum of frustration. First there are those who are unable to learn technology regardless of the amount of effort expended and at the other end are those users who opitomize (sic) the old adage that a little knowledge can be harmful. Of course, as a web professional, this is simply par for the course.

Give it some thought...think about graphic designers and web sites. Every graphic designer I've dealt with, I've butted heads with. Not because they weren't incredible artists who couldn't take a group of adjectives and adverbs and transform them into a visual identity...they could and they have. Rather, it's because these same graphic designers think they can directly apply their design theories to the web space. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Now, take a video/television producers and they could more easily transfer their design theory to the web. Why? Because we interface with the web via a screen. The web is dynamic and interactive. The web is in real-time with users tuning in...and some tuning out.

Traditional graphic design has a fixed medium and has one visual opportunity to relay a message or an identity. A web site can have areas for specific user-segments, with complimentary visual designs but different layouts. Now, this doesn't mean that there aren't lessons that web designers shouldn't learn from traditional graphic design...after all one definitely came before the other and influenced it in many ways. But what it does mean is that graphic designers need to take time to understand web space...to understand what usability and accessibility are...care about what and why web standards are important...and realize that for a graphic designer to design successful and usable sites requires the same work and transition needed for a baker to become a chef....now I'm hungry - off to eat.


So, that's it. My first blog. I plan on using my piece of the blogosphere to share (and rant) about things I find frustrating about my industry...the internet. Things about technologies, trends, and just plan stupidity on the parts of various people. I invite you to also comment with your frustrations or likes about things. Hopefully from the dialog that arises from this blog I will be able to synthesize some information that will help me be a better web professional and to pass on the lessons learned from you.

Also, take time to visit Robert Scoble's blog Scobleizer. Scoble is one of the godfathers of blogs and is Microsoft's resident bloguru (blog-guru....just made that up-absolute genius!). I recently heard him speak and although I'm into RSS feeds already, he helped focus my attention to blogs and really allowed me to see the potential, both personally and professionally, of the blgosphere.

Higher Ed Websites: Inaugural Post

If you have usability issues with your university or college's site or you are involved with the development or maintenance of a college or university web site and have tips, antcedotes, or questions visit this blog. Your constructive feedback may go a long way here in helping identify what institutes of higher education can do to make their sites more attractive and usable. Higher Ed Websites: Inaugural Post