flash usability

Nielsen to make “best practices” document for rich internet applications in SWF

Macromedia announced today that the creator of the “Flash 99% bad” report, Jakob Nielsen will be working with them to develop a “best practices” for rich Internet applications..

The buzz is naturally on in the Flash community. Here are some links to coverage of the announcement:

Flash usability site Flazoom:

This really is not a surprise, if Flash is going to be accepted as a web application tool among the corporate world, Macromedia has to do something to offset Nielsen’s “Flash: 99% Bad” column from last year. Buying Nielsen’s consulting services is probably the fastest way to achieve this. So now we’re getting Jakob MX.

This is no joke, folks. In an announcement that is sure to be the biggest shocker in the Flash community, Nielsen will be coaching Macromedia on usability.

PNut’s Thoughts:

This scares me, as much as I admire the guys writings, agree with many of his concepts, I still think he just doesn’t ‘get’ flash. Personally I’d rather see Steve Krug, or Chris McGregor, maybe even Marie Tahir doing this, as these people have more realistic ideas to modern web usability.

JD on MX:

I think this can be helpful reading for developers, but will also help with client communications, and the long-term effect should be to help the viewing audience around the world.

[Update, found another site that had some interesting comments around the Nielsen/Macromedia partnership:

What Do I Know:

Okay, so let me get this straight. Jakob Nielsen, a self-penned usability


Dave Winer: A Brief User Interface Manifesto

Dave Winer writes about his first real eureka experience with usability, its a blast from the past – one that will be as true tomorrow as it was yesterday.

DaveNet : A Brief User Interface Manifesto

I remember, as if it were yesterday, my first experience with a user. I had been developing a software product for three years, all the while thinking it was easy to use. A friend who had been listening to me gush about how great it was asked if he could try it. Hesitantly I said yes. I launched the program and we switched seats. I tried to say nothing as he wondered what to do. The software didn’t have anything to say. “What should I do?” he asked. I thought to myself “I have some work to do.”

Remember, to make good software you have to make good usability! :-)


The Sanctity of Elements

O’Reilly Network: The Sanctity of Elements. Meg Hourihan writes about interface, design and the input of clients. Or how to make sure that your design process isn’t hijacked by the customer and end up in catastrophe