Web 2.0 and Good Web Design

Once again I’m going to comment on Web 2.0.  Ever since I made my first post (Web 2.0?)
I’ve been finding more and more people writing with similar disdain for
Web 2.0.  This has been somewhat surprising as I haven’t been
searching out the anti-Web 2.0 crowd, but instead just reading the
feeds (I subscribe to approx. 70) in my aggregator.  This
morning it was Jeff Atwood over at Coding Horror and his post entitled Getting Back to Web Basics.

Jeff’s border line rant focused on how the technology has become
more important than delivering the message.  The basics that Jeff
mentions in his title are taken from Jakob Nielsen’s Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005.  The crux of that message is this:

This year’s list of top problems clearly proves the need to get
back to Web design basics. There’s much talk about new fancy “Web 2.0”
features on the Internet industry’s mailing lists and websites, as well
as at conferences. But users don’t care about technology and don’t
especially want new features. They just want quality improvements in
the basics:

text they can read; content that answers their questions;
navigation and search that help them find what they want; short and simple forms (streamlined registration, checkout, and other workflow); and
* no bugs, typos, or corrupted data; no linkrot; no outdated content.

Anytime you feel tempted to add a new feature or advanced
technology to your site, first consider whether you would get a higher
ROI by spending the resources on polishing the quality of what you
already have. Most companies, e-commerce sites, government agencies,
and non-profit organizations would contribute more to their website’s
business goals with better headlines than with any new technology
(aside from a better search engine, of course).

Jeff puts further emphasis on this with his discussion on breaking the back button:

I’ve visited quite a few Ajax sites that committed the cardinal
sin of the web: they broke the back button. Nothing demonstrates an
utter disregard for the user quite like breaking the back button does.
Going “back” is the second most common user activity after clicking a

Nothing pisses me off more than losing the page I’m on or the data I’ve entered because I knowingly click the back button.

It’s nice to see that there are other people out there who share my
rabid dislike for what the name Web 2.0 is starting to represent.