Jakob Nielsen on Web 2.0

Jakob Nielsen vs. JustaddwaterYesterday BBC published a short article entitled “Web 2.0 ‘neglecting good design’“. The journalist apparently attended a talk by Jakob Nielsen where he talked about usability issues in Web 2.0. The article is basically just a summary of the talk, and the main focus is that many websites, in the rush to be more Web 2.0, neglect usability.

Describing Web 2.0 as the “latest fashion”, Mr Nielsen said many sites paying attention to it were neglecting some of the principles of good design and usability established over the last decade.

Jakob Nielsen does provide us with some interesting statistics. The general Web 2.0 website can normally divide its users into three categories:

  1. 1% of your users regually contributes
  2. 9% of your users occasionally contributes
  3. 90% of your users almost never contributes

What can we use these numbers for? Well, we can try to actually use good business practices and focus on the largest user group. As a techie I have a tendency to focus on the fun/interesting parts of a website – but these are the parts that usually only the first procentage of the users use!

To put it simple: To better serve the 1% of users who contributes, web firms tend to forget about the other 99% who just want to ‘get the informaton’.

“Most people just want to get in, get it and get out,” said Mr Nielsen. “For them the web is not a goal in itself. It is a tool.”

Web firms rushing to serve the small, committed minority might find they make a site far less useful to the vast majority who come to a site for a specific purpose.

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12 Responses to “Jakob Nielsen on Web 2.0”

  1. Francois Says:

    In fact it is an easy position … nothing new here with Mr Nielsen. These statistics have been provided by Yahoo! Labs since few years. It sounds like if Mr Nielsen wanted to be also in the track …

    The usability problems on the Web can only be increasing as there is more and more websites.

    We would be astonished by the results of a study on the teams which develop the sites. A great majority would have very few years of experience in this field. Already even with the experienced developers, usability is a complicated thing to explain.

  2. Urls Sinistras » Blog Archive » del.icio.us entre 11/05/2007 e 16/05/2007 Says:

    […] Jakob Nielsen on Web 2.0To better serve the 1% of users who contributes, web firms tend to forget about the other 99% who just want to â��get the informatonâ��. […]

  3. Hitesh Mehta Says:

    Today, the dynamic web pages are not made in any rush hour, plenty of man hours goes in to research and a lot of effort is being put in by the group of experts to make the NEXT web2.0 product / web site totally user-friendly and easy going with the millions of users on the web. Experts from various streams like research analyst, hardcore technical guys, business development managers, investors, Artificial Intelligence experts, SEO specialists and many others are today extremely involved in making a successful web2.0 product. — READ MY COMPLETE REVIEW HERE: http://hiteshmehta.in/?p=8

  4. Daniel Szuc Says:

    How about ways that Web 2.0 is improving the UX – http://www.apogeehk.com/articles/AjaxUserExperienceStrategiesPart1.html

    Sometimes its all to easy for usability to look at the issues and not the opportunities. One question is – are users keeping up and learning some of the new interactions out there today? Is it improving their product experience?

  5. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    OK/Cancel has this cartoon comment:

    Don’t Call it a Comeback

    link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ok-cancel/~3/117786324/dont-call-it-a-comeback.html

  6. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    Another great one from Chris McEvoy:

    Jakob ‘Major’ Nielsen Calls For Return To Victorian Values

    Jakob ‘Major’ Nielsen today called on the BBC to turn away from Web2.0 hype and return to the golden age of blue links and horizontal rules.

    He presented a version of the future for the BBC that harked back to the time when a bbc news page could load in under 0.5 seconds and was only permitted to include one image in each page.

    Go there and see the awesome screenshots!

  7. Valerie Says:

    @Jesper: I’ve never heard of OK/Cancel — I went to check it out, and enjoyed looking through the archives. Thanks for introducing me!

  8. Avery K. Says:

    Great post. I’m surprised that this is even an issue… I thought it was common knowledge that most of the traffic to a site is just to browse, rather than contribute.

  9. Mark Says:

    interesting take on this… I think I am like the 9% out there.. I think most people don’t realize that comments are not only a great addition to a blog, but it is also cool when people take an interest in something you’ve written

  10. Jack P. Says:

    When looking at a website, one can’t measure it’s popularity by the comments alone. A program like StatCounter can provide insight as to how many people are actually visiting the site.

  11. debbiep Says:

    there is alot of junk on web 2.0 but there is alot of quality starting the shine through. I think it took a long time for people to take it serously enough to put the time in

  12. Christine Arkin Says:

    It’s a bit of a sad statistic when you consider how many sites encourage discussion, and yet many just drop by to look.