Talan Memmott on 10 Jan 2001 19:29:02 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] RE: <nettime> don't Disassociate Webdesign (as an aspect of app engineering) from Usability

I certainly do not believe in this either/or approach.

You cannot simply discount design. That is silly... Though you may want to
limit what design is to over blown web interfaces that doesn't add up...

Yes, there are many web interfaces that deplete usability... But, in this
regard you are talking about an engineering flaw in the application -- as
the UI design must be 'engineered' to make the application usable... It is
about integration, not division....

The library app you mention, the telnet version that is, may be the better
choice because it is simpler... That is not to say that the application is
not 'designed', that there was no design consideration given... It is better
designed than the web application.... better engineered...

There seems a confusion between 'good design' and 'overblown graphic

What of information design, designing database schema, logic for an
application ---- yes, this is engineering but there is a design aspect to
these tasks that is creative, rigorous and technical...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: nettime-l-request@bbs.thing.net
> [mailto:nettime-l-request@bbs.thing.net]On Behalf Of scotartt
> Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 6:09 AM
> To: nettime-l
> Subject: Fw: <nettime> Disassociate Webdesign from Usability
> hiya felix  + geert
> actually i think your article geert is completely arse about face. graphic
> design be damned!!! felix is right of course; the "innovation" isn't in
> the visual look of the "web" but what you can do with it - the focus on
> networked applications of one sort or another -- slashdot and napster
> being very good examples.
> I spoke to my partner about this. she mentioned her personal 'killer'
> application; the ability to renew her library book loans for her research
> at the university library. there are two interfaces; one the original
> telnet based one, the other the fancy web-based. the first is primitive,
> no designers went anywhere near it ... yet the completely ugly,
> non-usability-tested, telnet "green screen" *application* is infinitely
> more useful and dare i say it, usable, than the pretty over worked,
> functionally illiterate, "web interface".
> out there in tech-land as geert states its no longer about aggregating
> eyeballs or even making *content* (we're awash in the bloody stuff -- far
> too much of it), but about making *applications*. applications of course
> being things-unto-themselves, **machines**, appliances, stuff that makes a
> difference to someone's life, i.e. what was the intial promise of 20th
> century materialist culture, and the reason why, as a socialist, I believe
> in 'progress', not this back-to-nature schizophrenia (as if we're external
> to nature!) of the modern left.
> remember Kruschev's comments to Nixon about the world's fair and
> refridgerators? overshadowed of course by the famous "we will bury you"
> comment, but you understand my point i hope. that stuff makes a difference
> - a real advance in living conditions. so the real hope of the internet
> now its run by capitalists isn't its unlimited potiential for aggregating
> eyeballs onto some anti-WTO site but the actual potential that someone
> somewhere will invent some appliance that makes a real difference to the
> world. (the wind up internet terminal perhaps).
> when people talk about the "web" or "internet" what they usually mean is
> the information-retrieval application that they use over the internet, not
> the internet itself. this information-retrieval appliance (the browser) is
> just one of the possible appliances you could design for the web. the
> network, of course, is a great boon to information-distribution
> applications but of course its not the only application layer that might
> exist on the internet, and design has almost *nothing* to say about these
> other applications. think about radio-as-broadcast-model versus
> radio-controlled-airplanes.
> By applications, I mean ... engineering ... software engineering, hardware
> engineering, civil engineering, wetware engineering, network engineering,
> electronics engineering, social engineering, but whichever way you want to
> cut it it's still engineering. not design. boot design back to the
> marketing department where it belongs.
> scot
> --            F
>               |       [[ From: scot@autonomous.org ]]
> +--(CH3)2CH-O-P=O--+--[[ NERVE AGENT AUDIO SYSTEMS ]]--+x0x
>               |       [[ http://mp3.com/nerveagent ]]
>               CH3
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Felix Stalder <stalder@fis.utoronto.ca>
> To: <nettime-l@bbs.thing.net>
> Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 9:20 AM
> Subject: Re: <nettime> Disassociate Webdesign from Usability
> <....>
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