Nielsen on Usability: Next Steps for Web Usability

Nielsen on the state of Web Usabilty (I pulled out his arguments into bullet points). Sort of a recap and reiteration of the Jacob-bytes (or Jakob sound bytes if you will):

  • Content: see: useit article on content usability
  • Multimedia: develop guidelines for multimedia usability that will increase user engagement and control.
  • Search: The solution lies partly in technology (better search engines), partly in content management (identifying the top answers for common questions), and partly in content production (better meta-tagging).
  • Internationational usability: there is more interest in international studies among surviving companies as they recognize that they cannot ignore half of their customers.
  • Internalize human factors guidelines: central usability group that can run behavioral studies to discover the truth about customers and identify the many flaws in the corporate Web site. It is also great to gain a deeper perspective on the company's usability strategy from an independent review by an outside expert ... and evangelize usability within the organization (my paraphrasing).
While I don't wholly agree with the guidelines on content usability and think Nielsen needs to expand more on his recommendations for international usability, I agree largely with his comments about internalizing human factors guidelines, and the search recommendations are valuable.