Jakob Nielsen Is Full Of Shit

Well that’s what I heard.
I guess I just can’t shake the impression that this guy likes to piss on beauty. Oh sure, he talks about multi-disciplinary teams and whatnot, but I think he derives perverse satisfaction from the effect his rhetorical position has on its detractors. He seems rather smug. But hey, I’ve been called a turgid prick and I while I suppose I might be, I don’t believe I am. So perhaps the whole thing is more complicated. Perhaps Jacob is a wonderful fellow.
My guess is that it has to do with the whole “Two Cultures” thing. Any web designer who has worked with a UX or usability expert knows what I’m talking about. The same holds true in reverse. I imagine the same pattern plays in all kinds of contexts; screenwriters and audience testers, architects and engineers, CEOs and CFOs. There is a tension that always exists between what is proven and what is possible.
There’s still compelling evidence to suggest Jacob is a punk. I mean, check out his site. The home page is pretty offputting as user experience goes what with all those links. He’s got this page called, “Why This Site Has Almost No Graphics”. In it he says that,

I am not a visual designer, so my graphics would look crummy anyway. Since this website is created by myself (and not by a multidisciplinary team as I always recommend for large sites) I didn’t want to spend money to hire an artist.

Lame. If you really want to sell your message, it seems incumbent upon you to do your best to make it viscerally appealing. I’m sure there are designers who would redesign the site in return for publicity.
Then again, I’m drunkblogging so I realize perhaps I’m just being an asshole. Sorry Jake. I’m just fuggin’ with ya. I love nerds.

Grounded Chips, VII

It’s been some time since the last update on my little Terra Chips interaction. I can’t say that there’s anything really new to report. I couldn’t seem to justify to myself the time and effort to record a phone call to their customer service team given the other important things to which I’ve had to attend. (Links to the previous posts, in case they’re needed: I, II, III, IV, V, VI – Fail.) And in case I you’re still wondering, the Terra Chips folks have still not responded to me, nor do I expect they will.
That said, I wanted to post to say thank you to the folks who offered comments and posts on their blogs. As I said repeatedly, this isn’t some kind of watershed experiment. I had no pretentions about breaking through some profound barrier. I simply wanted to point out how pervasively diseased marketing has become. Terra Chips is a great brand. They make a great product. They are simply one of many—in fact, one of the overwhelming majority—of consumer-facing businesses that fail utterly at creating a genuine relationship with their customers. The reason for this state of affairs is simply that mass marketing as we’ve known it since Oyster Bay—indeed since Gutenberg—has reached the end of its utility. I’ve been wanting to post about exactly this, and I have in the past. I’ve got more to say about it, but that will have to wait for another post which I intend to give a snappy title something along the lines of, “Marketing Can Kiss My Ass.”

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