The Diary of Anne Ku
5 August 2000 Saturday sunny and nice
USABILITY IN THE PARK
Yesterday I borrowed Jakob Nielsen's new book from my colleague. As soon as I opened it, I knew I had to finish it this weekend. This was a book worth taking notes from and digesting fully. What better way than to cycle to the nearby park and lie on the grass?
I chose the centre of the big field - equidistant from the houses that surround the park. After I laid out the shower curtain and rolled on top, I was almost invisible on the horizon.
For two hours I read the chapters on page design and content design intensely. The sun by then had gently persuaded my eyes to close - and I dreamt I was in cyberspace - freely floating. The title was Designing Web Usability. Nielsen invented the word usability, I believe - and became an international guru. I dozed off again pondering over the word flexibility and how I had become so obsessed with it. Surely I need to write that flexibility book: Decision Making for Flexibility. Then I might be the next international guru. Instead, I'm practising flexibility rather than writing it.
Lying in the park and reading a book I want to read is now too much a luxury. This was at one time my routine in the English summers. Today I cut it short by attending to more urgent needs: returning the cordless digital phone that broke while I was away, looking for caustic soda to unblock the drain, and getting black peppercorns to refill my pepper grinder. As the sun started to set, I was once again free. So I finished the rest of the book while swinging in my Mexican hammock.
Read my book review of Jakob Nielsen's Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity at http://www.analyticalq.com/books/