Five Designers Out to Make Over the Web

Design by Fire: Design Eye for the Usability Guy

This is hilarious. Even if you’re not a web designer, it’s still funny. (I wouldn’t know since I am one, so take that with a grain of sodium chloride)

In the web professional community, there has always been this tug-of-war between the ‘usability’ camp and the ‘design’ camp, with one side saying too much design gets in the way of usability, and the other saying that too much focus on usability tends to make for a dull, bland user experience. It seems silly to me that one should exclude the other, but whatever – that’s where we’re at.

This article is basically a thorough roast of Jacob Nielsen (web usability icon and author of the book “Designing Web Usability” and the UseIt website) and at the same time is an excellent example of how to achieve good design and good usability simultaneously.

What makes it hilarious, aside from them taking Nielsen to task on his sermons, is that they do it all tongue-in-cheek, as if it were set to the popular TV show that I’ve never seen: “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” While they are roasting Nielsen and making you crack up, they teach you several aspects of good web redesign by example. Enjoy!