Interview: Steve Krug (29 Apr 2005)
But I think the reason why you hear so much about usability “gurus” goes back to the point I was trying to make in the “Religious Debates” cartoon in Don’t Make Me Think. One of the problems web teams face is that we all have a lot of personal experience as web users, so we all think we know what makes a site good (i.e., the kinds of things we like). As a result, most design discussions are full of strong (to put it mildly) personal opinions, usually disguised as facts (“Nobody like pull-downs”).
And if you’re trying to settle a religious debate (so you can just get the darned thing built), it’s very appealing to have someone you can turn to for definitive answers (hence the quasi-religious term “guru”).
The odd thing is, I wrote a book that spends most of its time explaining that there aren’t many definitive answers, just a few useful guiding principles. But maybe that’s what people really expect from gurus, anyway.
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