hNY - 01


é !

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Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2001 00:37:08 +0100
To: nettime@ada.eu.fr
From: "yann@x-arn.org" <yann@x-arn.org>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Disassociate Webdesign from Usability
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ia quelqu'un pour traduire ?



"geert lovink" <geert@xs4all.nl>, "Nettime" <nettime-l@bbs.thing.net>

At 22:26 06/01/01, geert lovink wrote:
 >In response to a list of questions I received for a book about user
 >experience (see below), I wrote the following answer:
 >This is not the time to ask for favorite sites and personal taste. We have
 >long arrived in the age of  the Internet economy, which is currently going
 >through it's first recession. The web has become a world of lawyers and
 >consultants. The overall function of web design has rapidly mutated. It is
 >no longer demo design for the web as a whole, if that mythological space of
 >the early days ever existed. Let's check the web reality of 2000 and 1. I
 >have copy-pasted the first 20 sites from a web top 100 according to traffic,
 >taken from http://www.100hot.com/directory/100hot/index.html
 >1.1. yahoo.com
 >2. 2. microsoft.com
 >3. 3. lycos.com
 >4. 4. aol.com
 >5. 5. altavista.com
 >6. 6. egroups.com
 >7. 8. excite.com
 >8. 7. go.com
 >9. 9. google.com
 >10. 10. cnn.com
 >11. 11. cnet.com
 >12. 13. fortunecity.com
 >13. 12. chek.com
 >14. 14. looksmart.com
 >15. 15. ugo.com
 >16. 16. amazon.com
 >17. 18. snowball.com
 >18. 17. usa.net
 >19. - brinkster.com
 >20. 27. quote.com
 >Innovative and creative web design has lost its hegemony over the overall
 >look of the web. It is therefor time to rethink and redefine its position.
 >Either it declares an overall war to mainstream US-American tech and news
 >portals, which is unlikely. Or it could become truly obscure and develop its
 >own parallel universe of beauty. More feasible is the creation of an
 >exclusive global design class (similar and close to the ones in fashion,
 >architecture and the art market). A professional high/hype culture class of
 >experts, feeding into the world of education and the niche market of design
 >(web) magazines. This process is already well under way. Those who feel
 >unease about this tendency towards glamorous aloofness are not alone. We
 >could take initiatives and question the current trend towards cozy
 >uselessness. Webdesigners could reclaim the
 >Net, for example through a critical engagement in open source software,
 >peer-to-peer architectures and early design involvement in setting standards
 >for mobile phones, settop boxes, hand-held computers and other appliances.
 >There is a growing need to break through the liberal impasse we face at the
 >moment, where sophisticated web design still pretends to being avant-garde
 >but in fact it has lost grip on the web reality. Conceptual web design is in
 >danger to, involuntarily, get marginalised. Or marginalize itself if does
 >not develop a critical understanding of the rapidly changing economic
 >environment it is working in. Window dressing in a social and cultural
 >vacuum, the immanent problem of all design, has always been around - and
 >will always be. The misuse and appropriation by corporations for their own
 >profit sake is a dilemma everyone is facing. I am not talking about a decay
 >or even betrayal of web design. Quite the opposite.

 >Flash technologies have
 >certainly created a second wave, a renaissance after the first "html" wave
 >of the mid nineties which java had not been able to trickle.

 >What is more frightening is the somewhat unconscious isolation of web
 >design, which can even be said of  Internet research as such. The New
 >Economy is more and more dictated by the fluctuations of the stock markets.
 >It is no longer driven by the will to pursuit technological innovation. It
 >has become ignorant towards flash applications, streaming media or 3D
 >virtual environments, avatar worlds, just to name a just few examples.
 >The "usability" discourse is undergoing a similar faith of slow regression.
 >Research about "stickiness", measuring user-friendliness of the design and
 >frequency of visits once served the rapidly growing user base who were not
 >anymore tech savvy compared to the first adapters who were not distracted by
 >inconsistencies. Navigation has become a non issue, thanks to usability
 >efforts. Since then usability research has turned against itself, de facto
 >advising companies how to fit best into the mainstream mono culture.
 >Pressure on the Internet departments of firms to generate cash is gigantic.
 >No one is buying the argument anymore that profile can be raised with funky
 >experiments. The attention economy is dead. "Aggregating 'eyeballs' is not,
 >in and of itself, a business model" Fortune magazine concluded recently.
 >Attention may contribute to branding but has failed to regenerate the
 >required revenues. I would therefor make a strong argument for web design to
 >disassociate itself from "usability" speech and its unintended effect of
 >streamlining the web. Despite all the good intentions of the usability
 >researchers such as Jacob Nielsen, Brenda Laurel and others. It's time to
 >uncover other unlikely futures for web design through new alliances.
 > > The focus of the book is on user motivation and experience. We would
 > > like you to do the following:
 > > 1, Name your favourite website in each of the following categories:
 > > a) chatting
 > > b) watching
 > > c) playing
 > > b) managing
 > > d) working
 > > e) buying
 > > f) learning
 > > g) traveling
 > > h) listening
 > > i) sharing
 > > j) laughing
 > >
 > > 2, Take one of these websites and answer the following questions relating
 > > to it:
 > > in one sentence, summarise why you've visted this site more than once?
 > >
 > > why is this site well designed?
 > >
 > > what does it do that makes it unique to you?
 > >
 > > what makes it 'beautiful'?
 > >
 > > what makes it useful to you?
 > >
 > > what do you use this site for and how often do you use it?
 > >
 > > on average, how long do you spend on each visit?
 > >
 > > where do you use this site, at home or at work or somewhere else?
 > >
 > > what is the most successful aspect of this site, your favourite part?
 > >
 > > what is the most useless thing about this site?
 > >
 > > 3, name one non-pc internet device or other interactive networked device
 > > and answer the following questions pertaining to that site/application:
 > >
 > > in one sentence, summarise what it is you like about this device?
 > >
 > > what makes it well designed?
 > >
 > > what does it do that is unique to the interactive environment?
 > >
 > > what makes it beautiful?
 > >
 > > does what you do with it, interact directly with things you do on other
 > > devices, i.e. web to phone, phone to web?
 > >
 > > on average, how long does it take to use this device?
 > >
 > > how often do you use this device?
 > >
 > > where do you use this device, at home or at work or somewhere else?
 > >
 > > what is the most successful aspect of this device, your favourite part?
 > >
 > > what is the most useless thing about this device?
 >#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
 >#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
 >#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
 >#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
 >#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net

+time to loose ? &