Eric Miller on 10 Jan 2001 03:12:45 -0000

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RE: <nettime> Disassociate Webdesign from Usability

As a designer, I see two a couple of different issues here that are
getting inadvertently lumped into one.  But the biggest issue is that
users as well as designers are bringing their preconceived notions about
what the 'Net is when they surf.  "It's a library!" "It's an entertainment
medium!"  "It's a personal communications tool!"  "It's for liberating the
proletariat!"  etc. Any reason why it can't be defined flexibly enough to
accommodate the needs of all the users?

for starters, this is still an immature medium.  We don't always know what
works.  so we experiment.  you experiment with what you post, how you post
it, how you present it, and how you structure it.  and then on top of
that, it gets filtered through different machines, and different
connections, then the big filter--the user's conceptual approach to
understanding what you've done.

But on top of that, we tend to speak in absolutes about design.  "Flash is
bad."  "DHTML is bad."  "Plain text with H3 headers is good."  "Plain text
is boring."  well, none of these can globally apply to the hundreds of
millions...billions?...of web pages out there.

so why the holy war?  text has a role, animation has a role, a/v has a
role, and none is inherently good or bad.  We don't seem to have the same
arguments about erudite literary journals vs. "Entertainment Weekly" vs. a
child's pop-up book.  And all are perfectly valid ways of communicating a
certain type of content to a certain audience.

pardon me if I'm retreading the obvious here.

-----Original Message-----
From: Aldon Hynes []
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 8:13 AM
Subject: Re: <nettime> Disassociate Webdesign from Usability

You know, I've been reading this list for a while and
been mostly bored.  You know.  A bunch of people
throwing their words into the ether without any real
connection seeming to take place.  Sort of like, what
if they held an online art museum and nobody


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