Mar 6, 2008

Jakob Nielson: The world’s best online marketeer

Jakob Nielson: The world’s best online marketeer

The world knows Jakob Nielson as one of the leading usability experts. But is he really that? No, in my opinion. Not that it counts for much.

He may well be perhaps the most brilliant online marketing personality the web has ever seen. The Usability field has greatly benefited from the body of research that has been done right from the 70’s. But does the majority, outside the realm of our miniscule community are really aware of schenidarman, Larry, et al?


Do they know Jakob Nielson? You bet they do.
Look at the mind space he was and is commanding.

Around 8 years back, in the silicon valley of India, we had a team dinner with our client, an IIT kharaghhpur alumnus, who was in charge of one of the numerous e-commerce initiatives for their Aerospace Division. The conversation digressed from small talk to the design. While we were discussing, what does our client say? Do you think Jakob Nielson would approve?

As any impetuous, arrogant, and ignorant design upstart may have done I made a grandiose statement? Jacob and design…. Are you serious (am not sure of the exact words I used, this was 8 years ago)

I have seen enough Jacob parody sites. Do you think he cares? No, he has his detractors, giving him traffic, while he has a loyal set of fans amongst the handful decision makers worldwide. Each and every article of his a lesson in cross selling. He makes a statement, “Flash is 99% BAD”. There is a storm in the online world. There are innumerable hate “Jacob Neilson communities”. They give him traffic. What happens a year after that? Macromedia pays him to “set usability guidelines for Flash”

Why do you think he recycles the famous "visited links" guidelines?
Eric Schaffer, another extremely charismatic person in the field of usability, told me in Bangalore: “We like Jakob Nielson. He is good for the field of usability.” And he was not talking about Jacob’s usability knowledge

So, what do you think?

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