Jump to content



Photo

Why Jakob Nielsen's Windows 8 critique is old-school thinking


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#16 exotoxic

exotoxic

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,165 posts
  • Joined: 04-April 04
  • Location: England

Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:06

It certainly not the most visually pleasing site in the world.


I agree, but does it need to be?? You could add all sorts of bells, whistles and fancy graphics but would it help the content be more readable or accessible than it currently is??


#17 heuristik

heuristik

    Neowinian

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: 23-November 12

Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:41

This review epitomizes Techno-Darwinism.... And who better to serve as poster child than Nielsen, whose very foundation of relevance has been pummeled beyond repair due to their inability to identity, react, and rebuild their business model. Remember, this is the company that identifies television market share by sending boxes to random houses and documenting the shows watched.... When "I Love Lucy" was the top show, these results mattered. In today's world, who watches TV in real time and only at their home? Use a DVR? Nielsen can't count you. Watch on your iPhone? That doesn't get captured, either. The list of exceptions is long, and the resulting idea of "Market Share" has dropped from 67% of viewers watching the same show at the same time (I Love Lucy 1952) to something like 11% today for Sunday Night Football. The last time Nielsen was able to report anything over 20% was the freaking Cosby Show....

#18 Shane Nokes

Shane Nokes

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,243 posts
  • Joined: 29-July 12

Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:06

This review epitomizes Techno-Darwinism.... And who better to serve as poster child than Nielsen, whose very foundation of relevance has been pummeled beyond repair due to their inability to identity, react, and rebuild their business model. Remember, this is the company that identifies television market share by sending boxes to random houses and documenting the shows watched.... When "I Love Lucy" was the top show, these results mattered. In today's world, who watches TV in real time and only at their home? Use a DVR? Nielsen can't count you. Watch on your iPhone? That doesn't get captured, either. The list of exceptions is long, and the resulting idea of "Market Share" has dropped from 67% of viewers watching the same show at the same time (I Love Lucy 1952) to something like 11% today for Sunday Night Football. The last time Nielsen was able to report anything over 20% was the freaking Cosby Show....


Wrong Nielsen...

#19 Davo

Davo

    Neowinian

  • 1,397 posts
  • Joined: 15-September 06

Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:07

The only fallacy I found in the critique is that with something like Windows as opposed to the iPad, you can't just throw something out there. The iPad was gobbled up in droves by Apple fans, noobs, and gadget lovers because it was something new. Windows has had a strong presence in the corporate arena for years and years, so you can't just toss something out and hope it goes well. Jobs really never had anything to lose by releasing his niche products so you can't compare the two.

I imagine that once Windows 8 matures or the changes are system wide in Windows 9, it's going to absolutely smash the private sector, specifically in the area of point-of-sale machines. I already find myself wanting to touch my laptop screen and almost find it a drag to have to go back to the regular desktop for something like using the calculator. The usability of the Metro apps is key though. Apple has a ton of developers. Android seems like it's on every smartphone that isn't an iPhone. WP8 and Windows 8 Store really only seem to have the big ones and they always seem like half-hearted ports. Even in-house apps like Metro IE are such hot trash that I'd almost rather use the BREW browser from an old cell phone.

All this Start Menu hysteria is doing is taking away from putting the spotlight on the really dumb things like a lack of a Wireless Connection manager, the Power button being buried under a couple of menus, and a severe lack of subtle guidance. Phones/tablets have a Home/Back key but how many regular users even know what the Windows key does? Something as simple as a first-time toast notification would greatly improve usability.

#20 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • 41,508 posts
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:53

Yeah, in time times will calm down and people will adjust. They always do.

#21 +mram

mram

    Neowinian

  • 233 posts
  • Joined: 17-February 04

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:10

This guy just highlighted that people prefer gradual change that they don't notice, they rebel against immediate change they have to adapt to because "they don't have the time".

I have nothing to back that up, it's my own opinion from being in the corporate IT world. I'll never forget being yelled at by a woman who broke down in tears because Excel 2000 was upgraded to Excel 2003. If she could have hit me, I think she might have. Some people at work have lit me up over Windows 7 and my involvement with the project as one of the PM's because the GUI and Start Menu are different.

The more I get yelled at, the more I believe people just don't like change if they notice it right away. If it is gradual we adapt to the small changes and life goes on. Win8 is a massive visual change for some and they are not happy campers.


Exactly.

I do like the ideas behind Windows 8, but even Windows 95 had videos and the option to launch Program Manager. Windows 8 by comparison is shoving change down your throat in an inconsistent way - not even an intuitive way - and it doesn't have the appearance of benefiting you in any way.

People adapt to change when it has tangible benefit, even if you can't see it yet. They'll usually try it once. Just like the UX guy said on that video: "we want to get rid of the blue flash. They'll only see it once, but it'll still leave a bad impression." That's the point. If we don't "get it" on the UI changes when we first need to experience them, you've lost us. After that point, it will simply feel painful, and just like "the customer is always right", you can't make me feel better about it, you can only educate it in. I don't see any education here, just "our way is the only way, you're holding it wrong, you never need to shut down, that large monitor is completely wasted for fullscreen metro apps, right click is useless now" etc etc ad nauseum.

I generally love changes. I really even like radical changes. I have used OS/2, Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc. as my primary desktop machine for years. But everything he says in this article is true -- Windows might be forward thinking and radical, but the more radical a departure from the norm things are, the more you have to be coddled into it, or the acceptance rate is abysmal. And it had better make sense too. This has the problem of not having either. Win8 doesnt have a cohesive strategy, is not intuitive, has no instruction (the one screen of "touch the corner" is laughable) and is a radical departure.

It is very much like Vista except instead of being a resource hog, it's a usability pain. People will not adopt it for the desktop, where it has very little perceived benefit. You can't sell me for years that multiple windows is good and then sell me an OS where windows are now removed for your new Metro interface and my 1920x1200+ displays are wasted. And just sitting back and saying "we're smarter than you" isn't going to help in this regard. It's not like Antennagate -- which was stupid too -- that particular problem was obviously hardware and obviously fixed too. This is a whole paradigm shift into non-intuitiveness.

I cannot stand surfing in fullscreen mode Metro IE. The wasted right and left side of the screen for fixed-width sites is a real eyesore. Not to mention Office 2013 follow on that model by delivering color schemes of "white" and "almost white".

Seriously, are we all supposed to go out and buy small tablets now, to suit the OS? I thought the OS was supposed to suit the device.

#22 Subhadip

Subhadip

    Neowinian

  • 227 posts
  • Joined: 18-August 02

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:15

The age old trick. Everyone who uses verbose language and pseudo-jargon with an academic qualification must know what they are talking about. Unfortunately usually they are only compensating for their lack of actual understanding.

He wants Windows to look like his website. *shudders in agony*

#23 Richard C.

Richard C.

    Neowinian Senior

  • 3,649 posts
  • Joined: 15-April 05
  • Location: Around
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro & Mac OSX
  • Phone: iPhone 5

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:08

When Windows 95 was new, it came with this:
Posted Image

Windows 8 could do with a similar dialog

#24 Wakers

Wakers

    Neowinian Senior

  • 1,865 posts
  • Joined: 30-July 07

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:09

Cooky, it does. When you install it.

#25 Hitman2000

Hitman2000

    joO 4R3 73H L337!

  • 1,337 posts
  • Joined: 09-July 05

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:22

All this Start Menu hysteria is doing is taking away from putting the spotlight on the really dumb things like a lack of a Wireless Connection manager, the Power button being buried under a couple of menus,


+1.


even the most diehard windows 8 fans can admit that MS screwed up hiding the power/restart under so many clicks and menus is annoying.

#26 vetFourjays

Fourjays

    Neowinian Senior

  • 3,013 posts
  • Joined: 09-September 05
  • Location: Staffordshire, UK

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:31

Great post mram.

Seriously, are we all supposed to go out and buy small tablets now, to suit the OS? I thought the OS was supposed to suit the device.

IMO this is the major problem with Windows 8. The first thing I learned when I started looking into usability (for web design) was that you design according to the target form factor for your audience. They are repeating what happened with their last tablet effort, but in reverse.

I get the whole "unified UI" idea, which is good in itself. The problem is the method. They could have had 3 systems with a largely similar code base (to reduce developer work) and a largely similar visual style (for cohesion), but optimised each one for the platform.

#27 ichi

ichi

    Akihabara Style

  • 4,966 posts
  • Joined: 20-December 04

Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:31

If he had given Win8 a glowing report he would be forgotten to history because no web site would have written about him.


I'd bet he would have made FPN.

#28 Sandor

Sandor

    Neowinian Senior

  • 3,956 posts
  • Joined: 28-November 03
  • OS: Win 8.1

Posted 23 November 2012 - 14:50

Note what he says there. He designed in the 90's and other than changing from : to > he hasn't done much.

His site was bad back then, and it is still bad now.

I won't bother arguing beyond this though since evidently what I say doesn't matter.


But you've failed to explain how his own site is poor from a usability standpoint. Your main argument is it looks crap (subjective) but that's not what usability is. If you actually look at usability in an objective way it's all about things like learnability, ease of use, ease of finding information and possibly other considerations like speed and responsiveness (in terms of layout).

You could argue there is little wrong with the site from these perspectives. It's super fast, simply laid out and relatively easy to navigate around. It's even inherently responsive simply because it has a minimal layout and no extraneous elements that need to be considered in the stylesheet.

#29 +Nik L

Nik L

    Where's my pants?

  • 34,151 posts
  • Joined: 14-January 03

Posted 23 November 2012 - 15:08

Nielsen is an absolutely unreliable source on REAL WORLD usability. His views are so hard-and-fast that he has fallen behind in what users expect. Been saying the same for years.

Sure, read his theories, and take them on board - but only as one of many idea. Not as rules!

#30 the better twin

the better twin

    Neowinian Senior

  • 1,710 posts
  • Joined: 26-January 10
  • OS: Win 8
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia

Posted 23 November 2012 - 15:33

But you've failed to explain how his own site is poor from a usability standpoint. Your main argument is it looks crap (subjective) but that's not what usability is. If you actually look at usability in an objective way it's all about things like learnability, ease of use, ease of finding information and possibly other considerations like speed and responsiveness (in terms of layout).

You could argue there is little wrong with the site from these perspectives. It's super fast, simply laid out and relatively easy to navigate around. It's even inherently responsive simply because it has a minimal layout and no extraneous elements that need to be considered in the stylesheet.

The line length for his content is too long on every article page. It makes it difficult to read.
There is no navigation to other pages, eg you have to go back to the homepage to read other articles, this results in many more clicks than websites with decent navigation.
No scroll to top - PIA with his long articles.
No visual hierachy. Just having 2 lists on the home page means you have no idea where to look.
These are pretty important useability issues imo. Especially if you are heralded as a "useability expert".