The world isn’t getting any simpler. All of us have woken up this century to find ourselves tied down to computers. Our work and life depend upon them. And now, even in light of our privacy being continuously violated, we’re (for the most part), unable to disconnect. So in this uncomfortable space, our relationship with technology, computers and ultimately the Internet, is pushing us to find better ways to ease our new found digital lives. And yet, each time we visit a website, even a new website, we bang our heads against the sheer idiocy of the experience.
“Why are they making me do this? Why so many clicks? Can’t they just give me what I need?”
Who they are in this equation is lost on me, and I develop and build websites. For a long time, I’ve advocated principles of content first and a general de-emphasis on design. We don’t need more amazingly stunning websites. We need far simpler web experiences, that allow us to do what we want. And rather than turn everything over to some company to trust our private data, our address books, our personal surfing experience, we need to just learn how to build websites that allow a clean path of choice.
Don’t do everything for me. I can figure out what I need, if you can make clear what it is you offer.
The greatest insight I have had recently as a developer is that we don’t need to do much. We just need to get out of the way. We don’t need to provide deep hierarchical menus to allow someone to traverse our site, we need to produce our content well and allow the people who want to find our information half the chance.
So, although I can appreciate beautiful things, I cannot appreciate them when they come at a cost.