STEM, LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES AND WHAT ALL OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH JAKOB'S LAW.
"This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know." - Jakob's Law (4)
Hold the phone— stop the presses— because I have breaking news! I'm actually publishing another entry!
I know, I know; it's wild to think I'd follow through so soon. Of course, this time around, outside factors have everything to do with this (remember that LTech class I talked about in my welcome post.)
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, you're probably wondering who Jakob is, why I'm quoting his law, and what that has to do with learning technologies.
Well, I've found myself in this exciting cross-section where innovation meets human understanding in the applied sciences, otherwise known as STEM. And unless you've lived under a rock for the last 30+ years, Jakob's Law has undoubtedly influenced you, or rather Jakob Nielsen, the minute you hopped on the web.
Who is Jakob Nielsen?
The co-founder (alongside partner Dr. Don Norman) and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group is considered a pioneer in web usability and human-computer interaction research. For the sake of putting that into perspective, he has been called "One of the "world's most influential designers," by The New York Times, "the guru of Web page usability," by Newsweek, and a "new-media pioneer" by Businessweek. He has invented usability methods, heuristic evaluation guidelines, and has written several books. His achievements include but are not limited to being awarded the Lifetime Practice Award by the SIGCHI, all for his contribution to user experience design.
Why Jakob Nielsen?
Over the last 30+ years, it's easy to see how he has influenced almost every aspect of what we do on the other side of our digital screens. From creating standardized web design guidelines to advocating for the end user, he holds 79 U.S. patents in his field. He actively maintains his relevance today with keynote presentations like UX 2050, where he forecasts what user experience will look like in twenty-seven years. He has even been able to translate his expertise into the emerging area of A.I. and has spoken about what the future holds for designers working within those platforms: UX Needs a Sense of Urgency About AI
To summarize, Jakob Nielsen's body of work would probably require a separate entry, so I'll list some of his more recent influential pieces on usability below.
The entire Nielsen Norman Group website: "We are a UX research and consulting firm trusted by leading organizations worldwide to provide reliable guidance on user experience." This site is a wealth of knowledge, offering everything from professional training courses and certificates to massive amounts of data and insight into the user experience and digital usability. https://www.nngroup.com/about/
Nielsen's Law of Internet Bandwidth: "Users' bandwidth grows by 50% per year (10% less than Moore's Law for computer speed). The new law fits data from 1983 to 2023." https://www.nngroup.com/articles/law-of-bandwidth/
ChatGPT Lifts Business Professionals' Productivity and Improves Work Quality: "In a study of business professionals using ChatGPT to write business documents, task time decreased, while rated quality improved substantially." https://www.nngroup.com/articles/chatgpt-productivity/
Jakob's Law: "Users spend most of their time on other sites…" Jakob revisit his thought on his law and how inovation is still vital https://www.nngroup.com/videos/jakobs-law-internet-user-experience/
Mobile Usability, 2012 - A guide that focuses on the usability of touch screens and smart devices.
Eyetracking Web Usability, 2010 - One of the most extensive studies done to understand how human eyes interact with design.
While this is a tiny cross-section of Mr. Nielsen's work, it's jam-packed with everything you'd ever wanted to know about how people use the internet, why they use it, how to improve their experience, and so-so-so much more. And given that most of us live in one of two worlds, one a tangible real world and the other a digital experience with an endless horizon, I believe it's imperative to learn from forerunners like Jakob Nielsen, especially when they press forward to understand how technology influences users today while sharing knowledge that will shape our future.