commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
I love Brad's approach and perspective on stuff like this. You can see more of his work and ideas here: http://www.slideshare.net/bradfrostweb/death-to-bullshit-now-with-80-more-bullshit
Beyond the point that we shouldn't be assuming much of anything, I think there's a larger point here: once you start cutting people out, it's hard to stop.
Well shared Jonathon. It's interesting to go through his posts :DHis design is great too. Right?
Jinkies! Talk about an eye-catching headline.
I've been enjoying Brad's perspective on things, too. Really enjoyed the Death to Bullshit talk on Creative Mornings.
He has the guts to say things in the terse, frank way that many of us wish we had the nerve to, and I'm gathering that he stands behind his words with his work.
Yeah, I was a little worried about the headline. But it *is* the title of the post. And you can see that I edited it from the auto-title that Inbound gave it. :)
First - I support this mentality.
Second - It's easy to say this with VC funds in the bank. At bootstrapped firms or startups, what is the best way to prioritize things like this in real dollars versus future benefit?
I'd argue that your second point is what people are actually saying. I'd wager people don't really mean they don't want anyone who uses X to be a customer... they're just too small a percentage to warrant the effort. You'll never make something that works across every single device/version/size - so *not* leaving someone behind (to a degree) is an impossibility.
Granted - these statements betray a fairly shitty attitude/approach if that's the way you verbalize your thoughts, but I don't think any people in a serious business effort would be *that* vindictive about who they do or don't sell to.
These are all (crappy) ways of saying "these problems are too small to merit solving". In a world of unlimited resources (people and money) - I believe most companies would address them. But - we don't live in puppies-and-rainbows land.
Right, I definitely get both sides. My question may have been too specific because what I was getting at was: What strategies have people seen in the real world where (with limited budget) this works out on a long time horizon.I am all for creating great experiences and doing everything we can to avoid alienating any users, but sometimes I wish designers would take a business class or two.
And I ask this (there was supposed to be a question mark at the end of the first paragraph) because I believe there ARE successful examples of this, not because I'm trying to prove a point. I'm curious.
I think you get to this the same way you do with anything else in the product world - research. Who are your current customers? They're the ones you need to please above all (because they're keeping you in business). Who are your most likely next set of adopters? That's who you build for next. Until you've got the freedom and resources to make an app/site/product universally accessible, this process repeats over and over.
The mentality of this blog post is fun and it does and should make us question our assumptions about what not supporting different types of users means, but it's not an honest or fair assessment by any stretch of the imagination.
Saying "F you" to someone is intentionally insulting. A startup not supporting a type of device or version of a browser is about allocating resources intelligently so that one day, they might actually have a chance to support everyone.
Brad's message goes deeper than UX, in my opinion. The web was built as an open platform, and accessibility is a large part of that. Any company that makes money by providing their users with the best possible experiences (*spoiler alert: Google*) is sure to take these things into account.
The foundations of on-page SEO are actually rooted in accessibility. A page that's easy for Google to crawl is also easy for screen readers to process. The document outline (h1 -> h2 -> h3, proper semantic markup), alt tags on images, labels for every form field - these are good on-page SEO practices because they are web standards - and web standards are written with accessibility in mind.
If you care about your users like Google cares about theirs, then you should take a leaf out of Brad's book and build an inclusive experience, not an exclusive one.
Totally agree. The earliest HTML standards included support for accessibility, and more has been added over time. Accessibility (people can access the information in spite of disability or disadvantage) should be something that all web professionals should work hard to achieve. The benefits extend far beyond those it primarily seeks to help.
That said, I do agree with Rand above that sometimes some choices need to made that might prioritize accessibility for one group over another, but we should all aspire to make everything we do universally accessible.
I wonder why people proclaim those things. I'm guessing:
3) An effort to simplify
4) Lack of resources to support all those accessibility issues (what Ryan said)
Maybe we just need to start rephrasing things. Like instead of, "No one uses BlackBerries anymore" (which is wholly untrue), we should say, "We have XXXXX [time/money/talent] and BlackBerry users are only 7% of our audience. iPhone users are 56% of our audience, so let's prioritize that target demographic. We'll eventually get to the long tail UX when we have the available resources."
Ah, that's so much more transparent, isn't it?
It's also a matter of perspective: what works for users with BlackBerrys (99% of the time - there's always weird standards non-compliance issues cross browser/device) will work for users of iPhones. If you build your product so key features work for everyone, and then enhance the experience for those that can support it (this is the key to the concept of progressive enhancement) then you don't need to worry about 'eventually' getting to low percentage users.
Implemented correctly, progressive enhancement is far more effective and less expensive than retroactively building experiences for users of uncommon platforms.
Yeah, I think realistically there's something to be said for this approach, where you're open, direct, and honest about your org's limitations and focus. Well said!
Exactly! Well said Lauren :-)
Here for the headline. Stayed for the article. Anyone have any chips?
This is amazing. Upvotes abound!
Swear words in content always get more clicks. Thank goodness the content backs up the use here. I hate it when content producers use it as a cheap trick to get people to look.
Oops. I said "always" when I was just preaching above that we use sweeping statements less. Oh, the irony.
In fact, Brad raises a very important question. Should we care about all these folks or not? What if some of them are our possible brand advocates and bring us tons of traffic and satisfied customers?
Brad brings up a great point. I work for a company that ignores a lot of the demographics listed in his article when they do product development. I doubt I will look my superiors square in the face and give them a big "F U" but the point hits home.
What are you people talking about? Do you actually keep all those groups in mind for every project you work on? If you use IE6, fuck you. If you expect every site to be built for sony PSP users, fuck you. These things aren't reasonable and to imply that everyone should worry about them is ludacris. Do you account for all the people using 5 year old dumb phones accessing the internet? If not, picture yourself standing in front of that person in real life, looking
them square in the eyes, then firmly and definitively saying “Fuck you.”
It's infuriating that this is resonating with people. It's another unrealistic rallying cry with great intentions that's poorly thought through.
Basically echoing what Rand, Ryan M, and Ian said, it's basic economics - unlimited wants, limited resources. I will happily not make my site not PSP accessible if only a small percentage of my users are using them to access my site, and the overall profitability per unit of allocating those resources is smaller than working on something else.
We're not charities. We don't owe our users "equality" across all devices. We're businesses & we do the most profit maximizing action available. And the fact that Brad says we're saying "fuck you" to those users we're forced to leave due to basic economical principles is laughable.
did you say **uc? well shocked! and am whoops! a sensitive writing.
Hey while we're at this, instead of just going to war in 2 places, lets go to war with every single dictator at the same time!
Because spreading our resources so thin that we prevent ourselves from achieving even 1 goal is an intelligent way to spend our time!
Not focusing on PSP users is not looking a PSP user in the face and saying, "Fuck You." It's looking that PSP user in the face and saying, "Hey 13 year old kid, you don't have a credit card and can't purchase any of the shit I'm selling, so you don't matter and I shouldn't waste my time marketing to you."
Like someone mentioned above, we can't all spend our time living in lala land with puppy dogs and ice cream floating by on clouds make from miracle whip.
As a continuation of this debate, Brad wrote a follow-up: On Progressive Enhancement: http://bradfrostweb.com/blog/post/on-progressive-enhancement/ (also shared somewhere on Inbound).
Fun little post. :) Brad always brings the harsh truth and looks out for consumers. As was referenced before, his Bullshit talk is fantastic. As an Android & Kindle Fire user I can relate. It does feel crappy when people port over iOS apps without any re-sizing for larger screens or any bug bashing for the new platforms. It doesn't feel like someone saying "fuck you" to my face, maybe more of a passive aggressive middle finger.
I see that people are saying it is resource driven on the startup side, which is 100% true. Brad doesn't really speak to that in his post, because he's communicating a feeling that people get because of the rhetoric around not providing support for all experiences/devices. I think he's still got a point when it comes to the rhetoric heard at startups. As an Android user, whom prefers Windows and PC... I can tell you that rhetoric for just those platforms/devices can get pretty gross in the tech world.
This post made my life so much better this morning after being stuck in traffic all day
Brad really got some Excellent sense of humour with him. And thanks for sharing the post, Jonathan!
(y) (y) for the share!
I war ready to down vote it... I ended up voting it.