WDRL 216

On GDPR Design, The Secure Exclusive Web, Respecting Users, And PWA Silver Bullets

Hi, I’m Anselm Hannemann. Freelance webdesigner, frontend engineer, advisor. Curating WDRL, growing vegetables on a market garden farm.

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Nearly every month I see a tweet where a spokesperson of a big brand or big online service writes that they can’t support every major modern browser and offer Chrome-only features or banners that indicate users to switch to Chrome, claiming that they can’t provide the same experience in all browsers and need to focus on the most important things. Now, from a product and project management view this is a totally known strategy to ship features fast—build a minimum viable product, ship it fast and iterate. What we don’t see in this approach though is the question where situations like this originate. Most of the companies I read such announcements have large teams behind the product, most of them have their business built upon an online web service.

Now think about this again: A company that relies on customers using web browsers limits their clients artificially by restricting them to one browser. How can it come to such a product that needs dozens of engineers but only works in one product of many out there? A similar issue can be observed in accessibility: Many web projects still ‘need’ support for IE8 but accessibility has no priority, leaving more than quadruple the number of IE8 users globally out to buy the same product. Sometimes we miss to reframe what we do, to have a bird-eye look on the issues we have and how we can solve them and what to prioritize.

What if we as developers would prioritize our users over the coding convenience? What if we who decide what to prioritize think a bit more out of the box? What if we try to achieve cross-browser support by using standards instead of proprietary tools? And remember, if you encounter a bug, miss a feature, I’m sure every engineer of any browser will be happy if you file a bug report for it. They also learn from us, their customers.






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