"Why do I need a big Web site to benefit from this?"

1 minute read

Kent Anderson: “Do you really need all that website?”

We reflect site-centric thinking when we do usability testing, for instance. Ill bet that most of your usability testing has been about the site, and not about the usability of the complement of information options you use or could use. Did you ask if the email you send is usable and ties nicely with the site? Did you ask if landing on your site from Google made sense? Or were you just testing the usability of your site? If so, thats site-centric, and potentially part of the trap that keeps us in the rut. Because of habits of mind like this, weve probably over-engineered our site offerings. And with online still severely undervalued as a communication medium, these lavish expenditures may not earn back.

He’s focused on scholarly publication, but I’m thinking about all the departmental websites I’ve seen designed – heck, I spent one summer designing one! They establish a brand, but have the basic requirements of providing directory and archival documents (e.g., course requirements), while providing accessibility.

I like the essay, full of quotables.

Is there really a premium for pretty among scholarly Web sites?

Having just dealt with the forced migration of a journal management system, and terminal stupidity of another one, I wonder why things have to be so complicated!