Alternatives to the W3C

Ann Navarro ann at
Thu Jan 20 14:49:23 GMT 2000

At 10:56 PM 1/19/00 -0500, Tyler Baker wrote:

>The idea of new types of user interfaces being "too" complicated is often a 
>case of people
>not having enough faith in people to learn new things. 

No one's arguing that such menus are "too complicated". But when over half
the installed software base doesn't support them, that's generally a poor
design decision. 

>P.S. - For the E-Commerce folks, if your users cannot afford to upgrade 
>their 486 to a
>modern 500 dollar computer so they can run the latest version of Navigator 
>or IE, the
>chances are they are not gonna spend a lot of money online anyways because 
>the don't even
>have enough money to upgrade their ancient computer.

Faulty assumption. Not all users who run something other than IE5 are
"poor" people who run "ancient" 486 machines. 

They're often corporate users with strict IT policies about what software
is run -- and it's not the software of YOUR choosing. They're educational
users and other institutional situations. 
They are people like me, who spend tens of thousands of dollars online a
year, between myself and the two businesses I purchase for, who simply
prefer a different browser, and won't launch another one just so your nifty
little menus will work. If you make it hard for me, you simply won't get
the sale. 

I forget who ran the commercial, but it was about a business interviewing
to outsource their web presence. Two very young, geeky guys were giving a
presentation, laughing about how the technology would be obsolete as soon
as they left the room, but that was ok, because they could come back on a
new contract. That they'd use <this spiff thing> on the web site, because,
hey, that's cool. Ah, now I remember, it was FedEx, because the tagline was
"but you always ship FedEx". 

Developers who insist that the newest innovation is somehow critical to the
product or application are alot like those guys -- you don't develop
applications for clients and for the general public based primarily on what
entertains YOU or relies on cutting edge software that is used mostly by
other developers (same in web design, most users don't have 1024x768 or
higher resolutions on 19 inch monitors -- so an argument of "it looks best
for ME like this" holds no water). 

Play and innovate on demo-ware, or in arenas where you truly CAN control
the environment, but doing so elsewhere is self-indulgent at the expense of
the client/audience. 

Just Released! - HTML BY Example
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Also in print:  Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials

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