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Woefully Wrong Headed
on July 29, 1999
There is really only one criterion for judging a successful Web site: do visitors ever come back? Having taken one look at killersites.com, I found absolute zero interesting content and will never grace Mr. Siegel's server logs again. What more is there to see? You get your fancy graphics on your way down the "entry-tunnel", you think to yourself, "My, what a pretty picture, but I came here to learn about Web site design...where's the content?"
Obviously, David Siegel has no idea what the Web is all about. Allow me to quote from someone who DOES know what the Web can accomplish:
"Start by putting yourself in your users' shoes. Why are they coming to your site? If you look at some Web sites, you'd presume that the answer is "User is extremely bored and wishes to stare at a blank screen for several minutes while a flashing icon loads, then stare at the flashing icon for a few more minutes." Academic computer scientists refer to this process of fitting software systems to people as "user modeling."
-- Philip Greenspun, Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing. I have nothing against "pretty" or "fancy" sites, but think for a moment the sites that keep you coming back. amazon.com is a perfect example: slim on graphics, low-tech front-end, no "entry" or "exit" tunnels leading YOU around the nose as if you couldn't think without the help of the ever-so-knowledgeable graphic designer. Instead, it's filled with tons of dynamic content, a community of users sharing their thoughts and ideas. THIS is what the Web is all about, not animated gifs and framesets.
For anyone building REAL Web sites rather than "killer" Web sites, do yourself a favor and visit [...] to learn what it takes (and trust me, it's much more than pretty pictures).