I'm wondering this for quite some time, and it's a question about human-computer interaction and usability.
A lot of popular websites have (in my opinion) poor usability, and I wonder what you guys think of that, and I also wonder why users still prefer these websites. I'll start off with a few examples.
Wikipedia I'm not talking here about the actual wiki's. But If you want to get into editing these pages it starts with a big mess. There are tons of discussions in the pages behind the wiki's. For example:
This is bulletin board with thousands of lines of comments, no proper way to identify who's posting what. And all that indentation. It's really annoying me and it's one of the reasons I'm not editing wiki's.
Twitter Okay, I get the deal with the 140 characters in a message. It forces people to make small messages, and it's ideal for mobile devices. However, a lot of people nowadays are having conversations over twitter. And that's where it gets messy, if someone replies at a tweet of someone else, it's almost impossible to find the corresponding tweet. Also, you're forced to cramp #hastags and @people in your message, so for me it's very messy.
Craigslist Euhm, yeah craigslist... I'm not even starting on this one.
This post is not a complaint about these websites. I'm just surprised they are lacking even the most basic usability features. And that makes me wonder the following thing.
Everyone on this website is talking about usability, and human computer interaction. A lot of people study the effects of them on websites. People have gained PhD's in them.
Then why is it, that the most popular websites on the internet, do not follow the basic rules of usability, and have a lot of things that can improved for better user experience.
Then, another question, is it even proven that adding usability features actually IMPROVE the quality of the user experience of the website