Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Web skills are improving, but only slightly

Jakob Nielsen’s newsletter is a must for anybody interested in getting the best from their Web sites.

The latest edition looks at the argument that you don’t have to worry about Web usability because years of Web usage have provided most users with coping techniques to get around poor design.

Nielsen’s research shows: “Users now do basic operations with confidence and perform with skill on sites they use often. But when users try new sites, well-known usability problems still cause failures.”

What is terrifying about his findings is that the research sample was intentionally biased to the more literate Web users. The results would be even worse for people with low levels of Internet literacy.

Many of the solutions that Nielsen proposes are so basic that it is impossible to believe companies are still making such basic mistakes. Believe me they are. And believe me they are still making the same mistakes about not making sites “50-plus friendly”. Dick Stroud

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