Blog usability, who would have thought?
After reading Sam\’s post, I had wanted to comment as well, but never gathered my thoughts until now (after having a terrible cold at the Grand Concourse today and sleeping for 2 hours)
What I find interesting about creating the user experience is that it\’s not always about making it easy for the user. This is entirely contrary to Nielsen\’s point on web usability. For example, the store Diesel deliberately designs its store layout to confuse new customers. Customers walk into a store feeling overwhelmed and the customer service representative swoops down as a knight-in-shining-armor to \”save the day\”. Of course, this is more of a company-centered design where the marketing ploy pulls the customers in. Instruments, highlighted in the CHI 2005 conference, are meant to be difficult. Because we get pleasure from mastery of creation. How great would it be to create a symphony with a simple touch of the button?
Perhaps, then this is the question of art vs. usability. How can something be created to portray an artistic sensibility while not neglecting usability?
My favorite painting is Van Gogh\’s The Starry Night. But we certainly can\’t apply any HCI to it to understand the artist\’s intent. Art is meant to be a statement, to let the viewer interpret their own meaning.
My blog violates at least 8 out of the 10 heuristics. I designed my blog for the purpose of having people read only the latest entries. If they want to read more, then they should read everything because I write the blog about me. My thoughts. My experiences. In some way, I don\’t write for people. I write to remember and to catalog. At the same time too, I create the blog for an artistic purpose. So by making it difficult for people to find what they want to know, they essentially experience one of my traits–that one must take time to know me.
And why do I never use titles? Because I don\’t believe in them. It\’s the same way why I rarely include pictures of myself on my blog. It\’s because I don\’t want readers to judge the quality of a blog on the basis of a picture. I want the content of a post to force the user to read it all. This is NOT a library, folks.
The way that Nielsen describes a blog is that a blog should be a wealth of information. Like a dictionary. Of course, we\’ll see when I actually have a job and a \”professional blog\”.
But I still dislike xanga very much. The irony.