Technical enthusiasm, please


Usability and accessibility on the net becomes more and more equal to unlimited choices and professionalizing of the user, who thus will be the responsible to be able to get the information from the websites.

1 sep 2000 //
You may say I am puritan. On the other hand, when I shuffle the web, I may too say that I have the right to be puritan. Because when I shuffle the web, I meet a overwhelming overkilling technical gadgets. For instance, it’s no fun watching a managing director and a marketing director being morphed »live«, even without all the intermedie states (it could easily have been done with a simpel javascript rollover rather than with a plug-in demanding doodah).
It may be funny when a button moves away every time the cursor approaching. It’s funny, because it can be done, but no more than say 5 to 10 seconds.
It is funny, and even beautiful, with flash intros and fancy transitions, but in the end it becomes monotonous, boring and waste of time.
This is far from the usability that Jakob Nielsen exposes, and that somebody interprets with that the lowest common denominator should be set extremely low. That is, that you must use any technical advanced solutions that may put any demands to the users equipment or ability to use it.
But technical experiment is exactly the basis for the evolution. If you really should be that precautious with all the technical enhancements that pop through on the web, we would probably not even have a world wide web today. We may see a period with breathtaking outrageousnesses, but it mostly lands on a reasonable and highly useful form – to be of benefit to the communication of the after all substantial content.
Accessibility is also to use the advanced techinal standards and possibilities on the web to make the content comprehensible and easy to use. This may also make webpages accessible to people with various handicaps, and this purpose can not sufficiently be fulfilled by the traditional techniques.
There’s nothing wrong with the techniqui behind all of the redundant peculiarities on the web. For instance, instead of the bold buttom that runs away from the cursor, one could use the same technique to keep the most important button near the cursor all the time.
Thus, just keep up getting enthusiastic about the technical possibilities. The web may as well be funny, entertaining and technical demanding – at the same time as the content is easy accessible and relevant.
Torben Wilhelmsen
Details of various importance on graphics, web and communication

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