don’t know what i want but i know how to get it

Jakob Nielsen is back with some comments on web usability for 2008.. Users are getting even less patient with sites as the web develops.

There were two reasons for this, he said.

“The designs have become better but also users have become accustomed to that interactive environment,” Dr Nielsen told BBC News.

Now, when people go online they know what they want and how to do it, he said. This makes them very resistant to highlighted promotions or other editorial choices that try to distract them.

“Web users have always been ruthless and now are even more so,” said Dr Nielsen.

“People want sites to get to the point, they have very little patience,” he said.

“I do not think sites appreciate that yet,” he added. “They still feel that their site is interesting and special and people will be happy about what they are throwing at them.”

As the design bar goes up, so does the patience bar go down. But this comment I wonder about:

Web users were also getting very frustrated with all the extras, such as widgets and applications, being added to sites to make them more friendly.

As always, if a user senses a value in the widget, they will wait. As always, gratuitous widgets and tricks raise the hackles. Oi oi!

Widget diagram from gapingvoid.

Good notes for this fall’s Web Content Writing course.