Watch out for the what if!

Its easy when working on a website to get bogged down by the “what ifs.”

Take for example the “estimated reading time” message at the start of this post. What if somebody doesn’t speak English as their first language? What if somebody has dyslexia? These people will read slower and so the estimate won’t be accurate for them.

Web design is full of “what ifs” like that. What if users are using IE6? What if we want to make our site multi-lingual in the future?

Although it is important to consider these edge cases we cannot allow them to stop us catering for the majority. I accept there are exceptions. We have a legal and moral obligation to accommodate the “what ifs” associated with disability. However, there is a balance to be found here.

If the “what if” stops somebody using the site, that is one thing. However, if it merely makes one feature less effective for a minority while benefiting the majority, that is something quite different.

My advice is simple, don’t get distracted by edge cases and “what if” scenarios. Only if a “what if” is going to create a real barrier to users should you allow it to hold you back.

My response to “what if” is simple: “lets try it and see.”

Related Post

Is digital transformation in danger of crushing your I.T. team? Many I.T. departments are under impossible pressure. With ever more demanding needs and years of legacy and new tech, I.T. teams are looking for ways to keep up.
Saving your users sanity Our mission as user experience champions is to save people from death by a thousand cuts. Small, but significant irritants that add up to be something more serious.
The uncanny valley of prototyping Clients and colleagues can misunderstand the nature of a prototype. It falls to us to explain its role.

Boagworks

Boagworld