Focusing on What Matters

Tim Kadlec gave a powerful, recent talk called Focusing on What Matters that you should watch. It touches on the three areas of the Web that we web workers often overlook or neglect: accessibility, performance and security. Yet, those end up being the factors that have the most impact on the people using our products and services. We have the ability to unlock the Web for everyone – if we focus on the right things.

Hidden Expectations

Over the years I’ve come to realize that most difficult part of making websites isn’t the code, it’s the “hidden expectations”, the unseen aspects I didn’t know were my responsibility when I started: Accessibility, Security, Performance, and Empathy.

Dave Rupert in Hidden Expectations.

Dave Rupert writes about the responsibilities that come with building websites – the ones that often matter more than you know.

Progressive Enhancement is

Everyone has a definition for progressive enhancement these days, and many often misunderstand the concept. I like Scott Jehl’s thoughts on the principle:

Progressive Enhancement is less “but what if JavaScript is disabled?”, more “can our core services be more tolerant of everyday conditions”

When you look at it that way, progressive enhancement becomes synonymous with quality. Why wouldn’t you want to build sites and applications this way? In a way that gives people a quality experience no matter what.

Ensuring a High Performing Web for the Next Billion People

Bruce Lawson gave a keynote talk recently at Velocity Conference in Amsterdam called Ensuring a High Performing Web for the Next Billion People that you should watch. He’s written a blog post discussing the talk a bit if you’d like more information.

It’s fantastic because it touches on all the parts of the Web that we know have nearly limitless potential, but that we haven’t yet figured out how to do well consistently. These are things like performance, accessibility, progressive enhancement, embracing a multi-device world and more. We have much to do, so it’s hard not to be excited about bringing the Web to a truly global audience.

Choosing Performance

It’s not because of any sort of technical limitations. No, if a website is slow it’s because performance was not prioritized. It’s because when push came to shove, time and resources were spent on other features of a site and not on making sure that site loads quickly.

This goes back to what many have been stating as of late: performance is a cultural problem.

Tim Kadlec in Choosing Performance on why the Web is slow.