Jakob Nielsen's review of Magritte's "The Betrayal of Images"

This is a spoof. It was not written by Jakob Nielson, and this is not Jakob Nielson's website.
If you want to go to Jakob Nielson's website, you can find it at This is just satire, a joke like you can find at theonion , so please don't sue us like the MPAA has done to napster and to 2600.

Magritte's unusable original

It's sur-really unusable

It's amazing that such a simple page could have so many usability gaffes. First, while what we see is clearly a pipe, text below states in no uncertain terms that it is not a pipe.

Of course, since the text is cursive and in french (!), this may not be so clear to some people.

There is no navigation, no sense of where you are in the site, and no hint whatsoever as to where you can buy this pipe.

Additionally, there should be a clear photograph of the pipe, as an illustration can only rarely give a reliable picture of of the product for the user.

A few simple improvements

Isn't this much better?

In my version, I have clearly stated the purpose of this page (purchasing a pipe) , given clear links for further information and to purchase the pipe, and rendered all hyperlinks in easy to read blue underlined text.

Furthermore, as we wouldn't want to alienate pipe smokers who don't speak french, I have added links to view the page in German, English and Wáama.

As you can see, if we just follow established guidelines we can make this sort of thing much easier to understand, enhancing the user's experience and increasing sales with just a little effort!

Jakob Nielsen,, is a self-proclaimed "usability expert" who wants to make all pages look the same and work the same way because he thinks people are all really stupid, whereas the authors of this site think Web designer people are all really like Magritte.