Nielsen’s view on the mobile web

12 April 2012

Josh Clark takes Jakob to task for his latest alertbox:

There’s a persistent myth that mobile users are always distracted, on the go, ‘info snacking’ in sessions of 10 seconds. That’s certainly part of the mobile experience, but not the whole story.

Totally agree with Josh.

Nielsen has always presented his research as gospel, with little thought or consideration for context or changing trends. See, for example, his thoughts on using tabs as a navigation device. Granted, this is from 2007 but tabs have been used as a method of primary navigation for some time — certainly for a period that began pre-2007. Nielsen cites Amazon as an example (but notes that they ‘recently abandoned’ the tab design). I also remember the Apple site had lovely, shiny, lickable tabs.

To dismiss a common use of tabs as ‘incorrect’ because of a narrow notion of what tabs actually represent strikes me as a rigid and myopic viewpoint. Web interface design is an ever evolving discipline. Trends emerge. Things change.

Would ‘pull to refresh’ ever have happened if we all thought like Nielsen?

Tagged with Mobile, Opinion, Usability

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