Andrei Herasimchuk wrote an open letter to Jakob Nielsen in response to this Alertbox story:
[…] Mr. Nielsen, I respectfully request you stop posting articles like this. You do yourself and the usability field a disservice by speaking in terms that are vague, not backed up with research data, and filled with hyperbole. Further, until you learn more about what it takes to be a designer, and what it means to design a product with your own two hands, I respectfully request you stop trying to dictate any design agenda as some subset of what you view as the usability agenda.
A very good take on the “guru arrogance” Nielsen seems to have arrived at.
Later in the article Andrei confronts Nielsen:
Redesign UseIt.com with your own two hands. Do the work yourself. Make it readable. Make it pleasing to the eye. Fill it with content that inspires people to do better in their own work. Take the time to employ some basic typography principles. I’ll even let you borrow my copy of Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. Create a pleasing color palette. Create some simple, yet elegant informational graphics. Go take a few photos.
A coincidence: I once did a project with students, to redesign useit.com. The results are still online: Redesign 1 and Redesign 2. It was a 1 week introductory workshop on “Navigation”. I think the students did quite well for a first time.
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