Usability again

Well, the guru of usability has now posted on the JAMA paper that got all of the press last month.

Since the publication, this thing has been kicked about quite a bit in the medical literature .. so I won't re-hash it here.

Neilsen has an appropriate comment at the end of his note:

"The fact that academic websites are so miserable to use is surely a contributing factor to the isolating and narrowing effect of current research practices. If outsiders could more easily connect with research results in other disciplines — where they don't know the scientists personally — we might see more cross-fertilization and growth in our shared knowledge base. Indeed, a unified, worldwide hypertext system was the Web's founding motivation. "

This may seem irrelevant to the "medical usability" issue, but I think he's making a good point about academia in general (and medicine is certainly a product of academia .. eh?) that despite our principles of informatio nsharing etc .. we often form small niches of collaboration, develop shared secret vocaularies and customs .. and often exclude outsiders.



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