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Durability of Usability Guidelines (17 Jan 2005)
The lure of the present is especially strong when writing for the Web. In writing a book, I'm highly conscious of people who will be reading my text ten or more years into the future. But when posting to my website, I tend to write for today's readers, even though 80% of the pageviews will occur after an article has passed into the archives. Luckily, most of my old analyses hold up pretty well, and ten-year-old articles continue to be 78% relevant.

However seductive the present might be, writing for the Web is writing for the ages, not just for the moment. (People who post stream-of-consciousness entries in their weblogs, for example, might want to consider that they're also writing for managers who might hire them in twenty years.)

Usability guidelines have proven highly durable, and most hold true over time. Present-day designers should not dismiss old findings because of their age.
Article URL: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20050117.html

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