Picking on Jakob
Im going to pick on Jakob Nielsen now. Mostly because its ironic fun, but also because he can take it, and his site has many of the same usability and aesthetic problems that wikis have. (In my opinion, of course.)
Heres a recent, fairly representative page: Usability For $200. (Warning: link opens in a new window, so you can see it and continue reading here.)
The text goes from the extreme left of the browser window to the extreme right. It is very difficult to read. (A more narrow column and white space would make it easier to read.)
I have to resize my browser window to about half its normal width before I can even attempt to read this page.
Any site that makes me resize my browser window, I leave.
The Summary box has no margins. Worse still, the background yellow of the box bleeds into the white background of the page, which makes reading the summary difficult. A border would help. See how its hard for your eyes to make out the edges of the Summary box? It makes that area of the page look smudged.
Then theres all the bold phrases in the paragraph text. These little bold phrases add visual noise to the page. (Links don't have that same effect.)
You know what? Thats it. Not that many things.
And, as with Jakob Nielsens site, there isnt that much that most wikis would need to do to become easy to read.
Its as easy to create an easy-to-read site as it is to create a hard-to-read site. [inessential.com]