Kairos Critique [ Intro | Requiem | Formal | Comparative | Justification ] [About this site]
This design for the Kairos home page was replaced in Fall, 1999.
See: Requiem for a Useful Critical Target
Dear Editors: 
      I write to express my extreme displeasure at the new (Fall 1999) design for the Kairos web site. Now that your top-level pages have drastically improved, Kairos is no longer an easy target.
     Even so, I persevere, inspired by "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and its relentless (yet paradoxically affectionate) ribbing of cheesy movies.  I hope my comments will be of some interest to you and to your readers.
Asst. Prof. Dennis G. Jerz
Department of English, U. Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Kairos Critique
Kudos and Curses for an Online Journal
Dennis G. Jerz

Old Kairos: Intrusive design smothers content
For the past few years, whenever the opportunity arose, I have critiqued the online journal Kairos as a high-concept site that works very hard to hide its content from its readers.  Pictures of the old site tell the sad story. [more]

Kairos should follow emerging Internet conventions
Let the authors of the individual articles innovate as much as they want; but let the editorial shell follow established web conventions. [more]

Rather than assert its editoral presence in layers of flashy, content-free design, Kairos should offer:

Undergraduates Review Kairos
In an informal, nonscientific classroom exercise, students generally found the new (Fall, 1999) Kairos design "professional" and "crisp"... but at the same time, the site was "intimidating," "a hassle," and "confusing".  Unfortunately, they said little if anything about the articles, instead spending nearly all their time wrestling with the design. [more]

Undergraduates Review This Site
Since I have been so bold as to critique Kairos in public, it is only fair that I invite others to comment on my own work. Most students liked this web site... some didn't.  Nevertheless, they had no trouble finding the "content" on this site, and they had plenty to say about it. [more]

Parting Shots Thoughts
The success of Kairos as a public forum speaks to the great need for experiment, reflection, interaction, and introspection, so that we in the humanities do not give the Internet over to marketers and hackers. Nevertheless (in my opinion), the overdesigned Kairos site perpetuates the myth that online rhetoric is necessarily complex and arcane. [more]

First posted Oct. 31, 1999
Dennis G. Jerz

Kairos Critique [ Intro | Requiem | Formal | Comparative | Justification ] [About this site]