Nothing to do with university website management, but an interesting article nonetheless. Jakob Nielsen's appraisal reminds us of the underlying usability principles that apply to all interfaces. Plus you may have bought one this Christmas.
Nielsen talks about usability fundamentals like visibility, feedback and consistency. These apply to every interface - your website, your microwave, your mobile, the swipe card panel at the entrance to your office. Anything you interact with. Considering a new (and for now unique) interface helps us to be more objective and maybe understand these principles a little better.
I've only tried the Xbox Kinnect out briefly (through my niece) but had already read Nielsen's article. It was interesting to watch how kids interact with the different games and their variations in basic interface features. I didn't see the kids encounter any problems but then the overwhelming desire to play had meant they'd mastered everything they needed to do what they wanted. Wish I'd been there on Christmas morning to see their first experiences.
No doubt in time, standards will emerge and the most engaging and usable games will prevail. But for now, kids will play with whatever Santa left for them.
Kinect Gestural UI: First Impressions - article by Jakob Nielsen