Jakob Nielsen Is Full Of Shit

Well, that’s what I heard. I guess I just can’t shake the impression that this guy likes to piss on beauty. Oh sure, he talks about multi-disciplinary teams and whatnot, but I think he derives perverse satisfaction from the effect his rhetorical position has on its detractors.

He seems rather smug. But hey, I’ve been called a turgid prick and while I suppose I might be, I don’t believe I am. So perhaps the whole thing is more complicated. Perhaps Jakob is a wonderful fellow.

My guess is that it has to do with the whole “Two Cultures” thing. Any web designer who has worked with a UX or usability expert knows what I’m talking about. The same holds true in reverse. I imagine the same pattern plays in all kinds of contexts; screenwriters and audience testers, architects and engineers, CEOs and CFOs. There is a tension that always exists between what is proven and what is possible.
There’s still compelling evidence to suggest Jakob is a punk. I mean, check out his site. The home page is pretty offputting as user experience goes what with all those links. He’s got this page called, “Why This Site Has Almost No Graphics”. In it, he says that,

I am not a visual designer, so my graphics would look crummy anyway. Since this website is created by myself (and not by a multidisciplinary team as I always recommend for large sites) I didn’t want to spend money to hire an artist.

Lame. If you really want to sell your message, it seems incumbent upon you to do your best to make it viscerally appealing. I’m sure there are designers who would redesign the site in return for publicity.

Then again, I’m drunkblogging so I realize perhaps I’m just being an asshole. Sorry Jake. I’m just fuggin’ with ya. I love nerds.