It has been suggested by more than one person that I grew up in a cave, as I seemed to have missed a lot of pop culture references over the last few decades. Well here’s another thing I missed: Design Eye for the Usability Guy.

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s so May 18, 2004.”

But on the off chance there are people like me out there who believe they’re keeping up with all the cool kids, but really they’re still playing with Smurfs, I’m posting the link because I recently stumbled upon it and I think it brings up some good points.

Jakob Neilson, Straight Guy

If you pay attention to granddaddy J., you know he has a site,, where he posts Alertboxs highlighting issues with web usability. That’s cool. We love usability.

What’s questionable is his Web fashion sense.

His May 10, 2004 Alertbox, Guidelines for Visualizing Links, is the object of the Design Eye redesign. If you look at this page or any page on his site, you’ll see why I say he’s straight. He’s got no style.

Yes, I know. Nielson is not a designer and even says so on his site. To this I retort: I am not a graphic designer either. He also claims that he purposely has no graphics to increase page loads. Okay, fine. You don’t need graphics to make a site look good. But that’s not an excuse to make no effort at all.

Content is king, but it doesn’t have to look like crap. There are a lot of nice looking sites out there that are full of good content, why Neilson chooses puke over pretty is beyond me.

When your site looks bad, in my opinion, it’s unusable, or at the least, less usable.