[ZWeb] karl on greenspun on nielsen

Karl Anderson karl@digicool.com
06 Nov 2000 15:55:29 -0800

Greenspun reviews _Designing Web Usability_.  I haven't read _DWU_ or
even bothered with all of Greenspun's review, but it's worth noting
that one of his first comments is something that zope.org fails at
horribly, & is one of my pet peeves - most pages are unreadable unless
you widen your browser to include most of the screen, and there's a
big empty margin, too.


Screen Space

     Computer enthusiasts in the late 1970s had personal computers
     with bitmap video and two 20" monitors. Billions of dollars of
     investment in the computer hardware industry has enabled computer
     enthusiasts 20 years later to enjoy a faster CPU and ... two 21"
     monitors. This lack of progress has resulted in universal
     kvetching and bizarre fantasies of walls covered in 200 dpi LCD
     displays or 3x2 arrays of monitors dominating a desktop.

     Nielsen holds screen space sacred. The cruelest thing that one
     can do to a user is to waste his or her screen space. Nielsen
     picks apart popular sites to show how small a percentage of the
     screen is ultimately used for content. The rest is wasted on
     browser and operating system controls, site navigation,
     advertising, or whitespace that results from fixed-width HTML
     designs that don't expand when the user expands the browser
     window on a large-screen monitor.

Karl Anderson                          karl@digicool.com