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The extraordinary usabilty expert Jakob Nielsen is celebrating 10 years of publishing Alertbox usability newsletter. He’s written, he notes, 300,000 words of usability essays in 247 columns, which have had 50 million pageviews.
Taking a widescreen view of the past ten years, he writes, there is no doubt that the Web is making usability progress:
* Blatant design stupidities like splash screens are pretty much history.
* Usability metrics are trending up, whether we measure success rates or guideline compliance.
* Many companies now have dedicated usability specialists on staff, and even more companies say that they want to improve the usability of their websites and intranets.
* Internet managers have become more willing to follow design conventions rather than flout them and thus annoy their users.