Monday, 30 April 2012

Nielsen mobile recommendations provoke design community rage

Usability expert Jakob Nielsen recently wrote an article summarising his recommendations for mobile website, which prompted quite a degree of anger in the design community. So much so that he responded to some of the feedback via an interview in .net magazine.

I found the dialogue on both sides interesting as I didn't feel either was 100% right.

Certainly Nielsen doesn't understand the nuances of what new techniques like responsive design can potentially deliver (and should he, to be fair?) but what he is able to say is what he's discovered in his research and how this fits in with the years of usability work that came before it.

I tend to fall on the side of Nielsen in the main because much of the user experience goes way beyond whether a page layout adapts to the device being used to view it.

You can have the best responsive design, but if your IA and content strategy aren't right you will still have a rotten user experience. While a coherent, user-focused approach to your structure and content will lead to a better mobile user experience regardless of whether it's delivered within a responsive design framework.

An interesting read on both sides, especially some of the comments from designers at the end of the .net interview. Some are raging while some more reflective.

Mobile Site vs. Full Site - article by Jakob Nielsen 

Nielsen responds to mobile criticism - article on .net magazine website

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