Jakob Nielsen Doesn’t Drink at “Coyote Ugly”

Jakob Nielsen as a bartop dancer in the Coyote Ugly Saloon
An unsuspecting customer drinking Jakob Nielsen’s kool-aid.

After reading Jakob Nielsen’s rather self-satisfied and smug Write Articles, Not Blog Postings and Robert Scoble’s counterpoint, I have these three things to say:

  1. While Nielsen has a number of good ideas on making things usable, when it comes to communicating and reaching out to people, Scoble is the guy to emulate. As with some other UI guys I know, I suspect that Nielsen’s perspective on human factors come from his perspective as an interested outsider.
  2. Reading Nielsen’s post, I was reminded of a description of user interface specialists that George once wrote: “little dictators — SimCity-sized tyrants — intent on foisting their New Orthodoxy on everyone.”
  3. Finally, I leave you with the best version of an observation that Joel Spolsky has written a couple of times:

    Usability is not everything. If usability engineers designed a nightclub, it would be clean, quiet, brightly lit, with lots of places to sit down, plenty of bartenders, menus written in 18-point sans-serif, and easy-to-find bathrooms. But nobody would be there. They would all be down the street at Coyote Ugly pouring beer on each other.

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