San Francisco, California

Baseline

We have to start looking at performance and accessibility as being the baseline of web development work, instead of nice to have features that we can tack onto a project later. So I ranted my heart out the other day for CSS-Tricks and I wrote that:

I think it’s important to make note of Deb Chachra’s argument that “any sufficiently advanced negligence is indistinguishable from malice.” With that in mind, it’s not just bad software design and development if a website is slow. Performance and accessibility aren’t features that can linger at the bottom of a Jira board to be considered later when it’s convenient.

Instead we must start to see inaccessible and slow websites for what they are: a form of cruelty. And if we want to build a web that is truly a World Wide Web, a place for all and everyone, a web that is accessible and fast for as many people as possible, and one that will outlive us all, then first we must make our websites something else altogether; we must make them kind.

I riff on some points that Ethan Marcotte and Craig Mod have consistently been making and bring them full circle to Cennydd Bowles and what he’s been talking about for a couple of years now when it comes to ethics and software; fast and accessible websites are not only ‘good’ in the sense of quality and craftsmanship, but also in terms of being a good person and caring for other people.

If we’re making slow and inaccessible websites then it’s hard to make the case that we’re doing a good job and that we’re being kind and thoughtful, too.