How to Make the Web Better

Thinking back to the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, the one moment that really stood out for me was 70,500 members of the audience holding up pixel tablets that displayed a live tweet from Sir Tim Berners Lee:

This is for everyone

The web made this possible. It has the power to connect human beings regardless of distance, race, gender, ability, language; I could go on. In this case, those 70,500 people were literally connected via the pixel tablets, and participating in displaying a message from the creator of the World Wide Web.

The message itself is profound, the web is indeed for everyone.

And so, to the point.

How do we make the web better?

As I’m sure you’ve gathered from my preamble, the only way to make the web better is to consider those who use it.

Consideration is something easily missed when we have our heads down as designers and developers, pushing pixels, refactoring code, or building things with a deadline looming overhead.

But all it takes is a moment.

If you can lift your head up from the detail of your work for just a moment, you can use it to consider the larger picture.

Who is going to be using this? What will they be using it for? How are they going to use it? Why will they be using it?

Put yourself in other people’s shoes, whether that is by full-scale usability testing, or simply by taking a moment to reflect.

The more time you take, the more you will begin to discover those hurdles, barriers, and restrictions that could be easily removed; those problems that are preventing people from getting what they need, or doing what they need to do.

If we can make easy for anyone to use, everyone will benefit.

Whatever amount of time or effort you put in to thinking about those people who will use what you are creating, it will be worth it.

It will make a difference.

It will make the web better.

~ A contribution to #StartYourShift