This alpha version is coming along slowly. (-- DJ, Monday, Feb. 1, 1999)

Unit 11

Overview of results so far:
Page 1, 1: Comments on Kairos Critique? This is my chance to listen and learn from you. What did you think I was trying to accomplish on this site? What did you think about the way I tried to do it? How could I improve it?
  1. I liked how you were able to search in so many areas if you were confused, that helps the reader to better understand what it's all about. I think it also shows that you understand that not everyone is going to know what you're talking about, but your willing to help.
  2. I think that this website was intended to show readers who would create websites similar to Kairos, (and maybe Kairos' editors) what NOT to do. The "Mystery Science Theatre" picture was an immediate attention-drawer and led me to read your letter to the editors first. This was definitely a good thing because it gave me a good idea of what the website was about. After scanning the page, I was also draw to the section that started (in bold) with "Students call new Kairos..." because it made me think that this website is geared towards me in one way or the other. As for improvements, the only thing I can think of is to maybe to make more clear who the intended audience is (then again, maybe they would know...?).
  3. I thought that the assessment of the Kairos website was fair and accurate. There are several navigation issues that need to be addressed in order to make the site acceptable as far as ease of use is concerned. I also think that the approach taken in your critique of the site was interesting in that you pointed out the problems using both formal and informal writing styles. This method of critiqing allows a user that doesn't want to read through the formal critque another method of getting the same information from your documents.
  4. I did notice a navigation inconsistency in your critique site -- the links at the bottoms of the pages do not link in the same order as the navigation bar at the top of each page.
  5. I am not that familiar with HTML, however, I thought that your main objective was to comment on your frustration with the fact that kairos has drastically improved its format and content. I think you feel frustration in this because you used to use this web site as a target for pointing out weaknesses in web design. I can see your mentality in that, but I think you were also giving them a compliment because you directly state thier improvments. I do have to say that it was a difficult task to critique becuase I was not very familiar with the original kairos web site. Your methods were a little confusing at first becuase I had to figure out what your objective was, but once I figured that out I understood what you were trying to say. You pointed to things that you saw as good and you thanked them for dumping useless information. I think you could improve your method by making things a little bit more clear for your reader. The language is not suitable for the everyday user. If this critique is meant to appeal to other web design gurus like yourself then it is great!!! But if you want the average person to critique your critique then you might want to change some of the language.
  6. This page goes over the re-design and improved nature of the Kairos web-site. It explains how the site was re-made to make it more user friendly.
  7. It appears that you are discussing the improved design of the Kairos web-site. You point out how you used to bash the site for it's terrible design and lack of functionality. You explain how they re-designed the site and so have improved it.
  8. I am not sure if you trying to accomplish with this site beyond explaining how Kairos re-designed the site.
  9. In order to improve the site you might want to put a clear statement of site's purpose on top of the first page. It takes a quite of reading just to get the idea of what the site is about. On the opening page you have several headings but they seem unclear if they are updates or just general statements.
  10. Overall I think the page makes its point, but only after reading aways into it.
  11. For as little as I studied the site, I'm not certain it's fair for me to comment. I can, however, admit that if I were to boldly critique another's site, I would take my time. Your critique reads as if it were an ongoing rant. You obviously took your time thinking about what you wished to say, and how to say it, but I think you got so excited that you rushed through it. I noticed (I know it's no huge deal) that you spelled a couple of words wrong, like "minues" instead of minutes. Also, the "parting shots thoughts" seems nuts. I know that it was supposed to be nuts, but it is so entirely wordy, confusing, and exhausting that a reader tends to mentally set fire to the length of it.
  12. Personally, I feel you were merely flexing your intellectual muscle.
  13. I think the way you tried to do it amounted to an egotistical chest-thump.
  14. To improve it, take your time but save the attitude. By save, I mean keep it. It's an admirable one.
  15. I thought it was awfully hard to understand what it was all about. I had no idea what Kairos is before and after I read. I only got some idea after looking at a screen capture. You know what you are talking about, but lost me when trying to tell me about it. What I did like was the letter on the side at the beginning stating the MST3K type format you used to critique and the sarcasm. I enjoyed the comdey at times, but I couldn't get over what you were doing. What is this. Maybe I am just retarded or missed it. You were very right, the intrusive design smothered the content.
  16. I think Kairos Critique presents quality information in a confusing manner with a sarcastic voice.
  17. Kairos criticisms help technical writers avoid mistakes. Karios Critigue says Karios:
  18. * buries information
  19. * contains jargon
  20. * lacks scannabilty
  21. Technical writers want to avoid these mistakes.
  22. Kairos Critique website design confuses the reader with:
  23. * large text paragraphs
  24. * prose on the left side, scannable blocks of the right side.
  25. * The reader does not know which section to look at. The reader can't tell if the scannable block contains a shortened version of the prose block.
  26. Kairos Critque's sarcastic voice can alienate readers. The tone sonds mean and condescending. If desginers/writers of Kairos saw the critique, they would miss out on useful information because the sarcastic tone would offend them. I am certain that you intend to be funny, not offensive. In my opinion, you can have humor without offensive sarcasm.
  27. I believe that you were trying to point out some of the main problems that existed within this site so we (as students) could learn from Kairos' mistakes. Hopefully, we will not repeat them in our own work. I felt that you showed us several ways to present the issues from blunt to light humor. I liked what was said about the three suggestions on how Kairos could best serve its readers. I agree completely with this. The cross-links and capsulates are the best of the three. This gives us a wider base to build our opinions on.
  28. I thought you were trying to point out all of the weaknesses of the Kairos web site, although I don't understand what your purpose was in doing so. I felt the site was easy to navigate and provided a lot of useful information, if someone happened to be looking for a critique on the site. I found parts of it amusing, which leads me to think that this is possibly a site meant for entertainment in some aspects, but again I don't know who it is aimed at. You could improve this site by stating your purposed right away, working in who your audience is -- something that lets the reader know why this website is here and how it could possible be useful to them.
  29. My impression was that the critique of the site was used as a teaching tool for explaining some web design concepts. Critiquing a site that does things wrong is a great way to do this, because it offers a visual aid in showing what not to do (it's usually better to show someone why they shouldn't do something when teaching design). The critique page itself is layed out well, offering abstracts of each portion on the main page which link to the full text for the section they describe. This allows the user to get an overview of the critique on the first page and then they can easily locate the full text for an area that they're interested in. The critique makes it easy for users to obtain the full text with only one click, a good idea since the main complaint of the critique is how difficult it is to reach the full articles on Kairos. It would seem that the Kairos staff have taken some of the advice of the criticism, as they have since redesigned the site. The critique looks good, though it might be benificial to have the old screen shots blown up to a larger size. I had some difficulty seeing exactly what the critique was citing on the the examples. For the most part though, the critique was well done and easy to naviagate through.
  30. I think that the purpose of the Kairos Critique site is to show, in a semi-joking way, what the Kairos designers are doing wrong, where they have improved, and how they can do better. The intended audience is Kairos' editors and readers, as well as those of us who would like to know what kind of things work well on a website. I think that the comments were useful, and the links to other people's sites on web design helped back up what you were saying. However, I had a hard time keeping straight what features were current, what features had been changed, and what you were recommending. I thought that the humor was a little bit overdone and some of the funny, sarcastic phrases didn't seem to go with text like, "online rhetoric is a complex and arcane pursuit, best left to brilliant but soulless code-crunchers, or to gnostic theorists who have discovered a medium that affirms their pre-existing ideas about textuality." It makes the reader wonder when you mean it and when you don't.
  31. Overall, I thought that the page had a lot of information which would be useful to Kairos editors and readers, but it might not be taken seriously because of the tone.
  32. The page with the critique of the old Kairos was a little confusing. I find that some of the bolded sections did not need to be bolded because they were no t of the utmost importance. The links were rather indirect. I did find, however, that the old Kairos photoshots were a nice visual reference. I think the point that "less is more" was clearly made and was clearly needed. The website could use a little re-structuring, but for the most part is effective in its method.
  33. I believe you were trying to let Kairos know what they did wrong on their website by using humor and being satirical. You let them know your thoughts each step of the way as you went through their website. I think that is a unique way to go about presenting your ideas. I thought that there was A LOT of information on this web page. As a not-so-experienced web user, I had a hard time understanding certain web terms you used. I also thought that you used many big words in long compicated sentences. A lot of words you used I've never even heard of before. Halfway through sentences I got frusterated and stopped reading them. If someone was willing to read through all the text and big words and sentences, I think that your goal would be accomplished.
  34. I agree with you that an overdesigned can be intimidating and a hassle to users. The previous Kairos site didn't present enough graphics user interface,as compared to the newly designed one. In my opinion, every website should be graphical, yet easy to navigate to other sites and links. I am intimated by websites that takes me through 2-3 links before it gets to the information that I want. I think what you did was on the target. Sometimes when a site changes for the better, it is actually worse for users.
  35. I thought you were trying to get across the information at simply as you could. I liked that the information on the right stood out. All though, that's were my eyes went first and the main information was harder to concentrate on.
  36. Just as you thought that the new Kairos site was intimidating, I found your site to be intimidating as well. It was clear that you were critiqueing the new Kairos site by giving your thoughts on why and how it could be better. My problem lied in the fact that I have no idea what Kairos is, and there was no clear explanation of it other than the provided link to their home page. As a reader, I don't have time for this and want to know what it is I'm reading about right away. I was also overwhelmed by the amount of information that was compacted onto each page. I found this to be very intimidating.
  37. The web site tells the story of you and your students critiqueing the Kairos web site. I'm assuming in your classes that you used the old site as an example on what "not-to-do". When you returned to the site for your lecture and the site was changed it left you without a lecture. The mere fact that Karos changed their site gives you cridebility as an expert in web page design. You have been telling your students that this site needs to change and it did. Wow, insant credability. tenure anybody? Your site is a justification of your knowledge about web design. If someone reads your site they might feel inclined to consult with you before designing their own web page$$$.
  38. The site was confusing with bolded words that held no meaning and poor structure of paragraphs. I think you were trying to show us that sometimes "less is more". If someone can write clear instructions in one page, why make it two. If the point can be summed up in one sentence, why make it a paragraph. The site left many questions in my mind at the end of each area, and forgot that it was supposed to answer it. I think it could be made better by proper organization, and definitions. It needs to be modeled for the first time user, not the everyday user.
  39. I think you were getting to the point that Kairos is simply not designed well, you are trying to simply say that it is frustrating and takes forever to get to an article for instance to read. There is lots of un-needed links before you can actually get to the link that you want. I think the way you tried to critique it was actually good, you brought out the most important points in form of instructions. You actually demonstrated the instructions with showing the links at the end. I like that.
  40. Actually you are right about Kairos. I become very frustrated with the internet if I'm trying to look for something specific and I have to go through so many links before I get the link I want. Most of the time I just say "forget it", and I don't even bother to look anymore. If I'm looking for something specific, I like to find it directly.
  41. I believe you were attempting to educate others about what content should and must be included in a professional academic website.
  42. Your critique is well put and stated with due professional prose. The critique is well thought and well done.
  43. Personally I have a critique of your site though. I have never been a fan of in-line links. It is rarely explained where the link takes the user and what to expect when they are there. If you could perhaps pull out those links, highlight them, and give them a brief statement of purpose that would be an improvement to me.

Dennis G. Jerz, Thu Mar 16 18:10:05 2000