This alpha version is coming along slowly. (-- DJ,
Monday, Feb. 1, 1999)
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?
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.
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...?).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am not sure if you trying to accomplish with this site beyond explaining
how Kairos re-designed the site.
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
Overall I think the page makes its point, but only after reading aways
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.
Personally, I feel you were merely flexing your intellectual muscle.
I think the way you tried to do it amounted to an egotistical chest-thump.
To improve it, take your time but save the attitude. By save, I mean keep
it. It's an admirable one.
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.
I think Kairos Critique presents quality information in a confusing manner
with a sarcastic voice.
Kairos criticisms help technical writers avoid mistakes. Karios Critigue
* buries information
* contains jargon
* lacks scannabilty
Technical writers want to avoid these mistakes.
Kairos Critique website design confuses the reader with:
* large text paragraphs
* prose on the left side, scannable blocks of the right side.
* 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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$$$.
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.
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.
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.
I believe you were attempting to educate others about what content should
and must be included in a professional academic website.
Your critique is well put and stated with due professional prose. The critique
is well thought and well done.
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