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Dr. Jakob Nielson is a Danish human-computer interaction engineer who is a self-proffessed expert on computer software and usability. It is his contention that the internet self regulate by using usability standards. These standards are set by Nielson much to the dismay of many of his colleagues…
According to Nielson's web site user interface usability is higher for intranets than for the internet. The reason for this lies in the intranets usability design and in the fact that an intranet is controlled and a user won't find themselves at a dead link, or fraudulent site (as can happen on the internet). According to Nielson's website (useit.com) the internet "is the interface to a vast amount of information, and so the emphasis must be on usability".
According to Frank Spiller (Spiller, 2004) Jakob Nielson "promotes best practices, he preaches obedience to his guidelines and when he postulates opinions they are interpreted as instructions". Spiller argues that Nielson may be interpreted wrongly and when translated, from the Danish, meanings get lost or misunderstood. The translations do sound a bit egocentric as Nielson declares that: "In the future, first of all, websites will be designed by my guidelines". It is here that the argument moves away from usability into the realm of personality and professional ethics problems (Spiller, 2004). Nielson comes across as flamboyant and arrogant. He often cites his work a "we" but doesn't mention the others he is working with. His professional ethics have been questioned on some occasions. ...
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