Zeldman on Navigation and Interface

A List Apart's Jeffrey Zeldman is giving away a preview of chapter 3, "Where Am I? Navigation and Interface", of his forthcoming guide published by New Riders, Taking Your Talent to the Web. Zeldman challenges interface design conventions and their relationship to user experience and suggests that the most effective Web design is characterized by "Focused, usable, brand-supportive interfaces". Or as he puts it, "A site that is "everybody's friend" is nobody's best friend." Call him the opposite of Nielsen for the bold statement he makes. Why, he even points to Lance Arthur's glassdog to give an example for what not to do with interface design. Public criticism of a peer's personal site. That's something. It's interesting that the majority of the IA and Interface Design writing that does not appear in journals takes such a limited view of information-use environments. The key points about considering audience, purpose and all that important stuff are there, but it is difficult to come across an article that talks about IA and interface design for vast and diverse content collections. Most of the writing, like Zeldman's chapter, focusses on Retail/Commerce sites. Personally, Id be more interested in seeing more of the outspoken folks out there talk about how to effectively design access to larger and diverse universes of content.