[thelist] Drop-down menu items

martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com
Mon Jan 8 13:51:26 CST 2001

Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers

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Please respond to thelist at lists.evolt.org
To:   "'thelist at lists.evolt.org'" <thelist at lists.evolt.org>

Subject:  RE: [thelist] Drop-down menu items

>Think about this quote I found, "We don't have a good language to talk about
>this kind of thing. In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer...
>But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is
>the fundamental soul of a man-made creation." - Steve Jobs.

Fan*tastic* quote, Jake.

>Design isn't just a pretty look and it isn't just usability. Design is
>crafting people's experience in a way that makes them believe in the goal
>you want to achieve.

And for most of us, most of the time, that goal is greater Return On Investment

>Nielsen is a usability guru, not an artist. The people at SFMOMA are
>artists, not usability gurus. Being a web developer/designer often means
>wearing two hats.

However, unless it really looks crap-ugly (which Jakob's site doesn't. Basic,
sure, but not ugly), you'll get a better ROI from increased usability, rather
presentational veneer, just as in most cases, you'd rather have a capable
kitchen in a restaurant than a pretty one.

>So I say, if you really want the drop-down menus, great! But recognize that
>they do violate a bunch of usability principles and standard convention, and
>ask yourself, "Do I _need_ this to communicate what I'm trying to

Or to get the users to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve.

The requirements document of a site is possibly one of the most important
documents you will write - get it wrong, and you could be doing 'pretty'
instead of 'profitable'.

Example: http://www.work24.co.uk/

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