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Jakob Nielsen on the End of Web Design

Some Weblogs have already weighed in on Jakob Nielsen's latest column at useit.com called End of Web Design. Many of the comments that have been written so far, such as this analysis in Stating the Obvious, have been critical of this piece.

Our view is that he came close to nailing the key success factors for site evolution at this point in the development of the Web. What Nielsen is saying is that the focus for Site designers and maintainers will be on a lightweight page design that allows for high fidelity reproduction of key page information through two new mediums: the "mobile internet" that others have refered to as the wireless web, and XML-based content syndication.

To the extent that this means a renewed emphasis on information (euphemistically known as content) over form, and a movement away from the design techniques that Razorfish exemplifies (DHTML and Javascript in your company's press releases), we whole heartedly agree.

Nielsen's point about the influence of application service providers exerting a certain conservative influence over the physical appearance of Web Sites is esoteric to many people because they do not yet have the experience of running several sites in a data center. We agree that in many cases companies have to trim their "gee whiz" features in order to adapt a site to the realities of co-location.

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