Now, god knows I can barely multiply and divide without resorting to toes or a calculator, but even I know that this train of logic is poor. From Improving Usability Guideline Compliance (Alertbox June 2002), Nielsen says that he looked at 20 sites last year, 15 this year, and there is 4% better compliance with usability guidelines and therefore the internet will be fixed in 2017?!?!?!
Jumping Jesus on a pogostick.
First of all… 15 sites??? 15 sites??? I spent the other day looking at a bunch of websites that sell music looking for a good one to take screenshots for That Damn Book(tm) and most of them flaunted not only the usability guidelines, but those of good taste and common sense.
I don’t know much about the infamous guidelines he uses, but I do know that the internet is too much in flux right now to hope for stable standards. Are the guidelines changing also? And honestly, do guidelines really make usable sites? Wouldn’t it be better to combine testing with heuristic evaluations, if you are making grand pronouncements like “the average e-commerce site complies with 49% of established usability guidelines.” The average e-comerce site…he hasn’t even seen enough sites to even know what the average music e-commenrce site looks like (I do, and I’m 49% offended, and 87% despondant over the state of them)
The whole thing makes me deeply uneasy. And “International Websites lag behind”… he looked at six! Six sites? What if he looked at the wrong six sites? It’s like saying I looked at 15 American women and 6 foreign women and American woman are much better looking. If someone said that to you, you’d wonder what women he was looking at… and what women he missed.
This article gives me the screaming willies. maybe I am way off base, but this seems like the most irresponsible thing that the Dane has put out. God forbid anyone read it and believe the conclusions.
Am I on drugs here? Any statisticians out there who can back me up? or prove me wrong. Hey, either way.