This is my son Oscar. In case you can’t see the picture, he looks nothing like me because he’s adopted. He’s also friggin’ adorable, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because my son is black and despite the fact that he will grow up in a family that has the means to provide him with a good education and far more opportunity than a lot of children in America—including me—the sheer fact that his skin is dark means he will grow up in a far different America than I did.
Browse by Tag: Empathy
The other day I got a message from someone I’ve been mentoring via email. His question was one I think a lot of folks in our industry struggle with:
Can you please tell what are keys to success and what should I do to become a successful programmer and software engineer? Anything is appreciated.
For the last few years I’ve been running a workshop alternately titled “Planning Adaptive Interfaces” or “Beyond Responsive”, depending on the conference. It’s been one of my favorite workshops to run for a number of reasons, but before I get into that, let me explain what it is and how it works.
My iPhone fell clumsily out of my pocket when I was sitting down in the kitchen the other day. Thwack! It fell face-first onto the tile from my seated position a mere 18 inches up. Of course the screen cracked. Protective case be damned, the cracks spread across the screen like a spider web cast from razor blades.
I was crestfallen.
Two weeks ago, I argued that our users should never foot the bill for developer convenience and yesterday I stumbled on a post from EllisLab (the makers of ExpressionEngine) that echoes that sentiment, but from a different angle. The title might make you scratch your head: Save Thousands of Dollars by Paying More for Hosting.
In more than a handful of conversations lately, it’s become quite clear that we, the web development community, are prioritizing our own convenience and our own time over that of our users. With our industry’s focus on “user-centered design”, you might find that hard to believe, but it’s true.
For a while now I’ve been beating the “empathy” drum (notes), trying to get folks in our industry to understand the importance of creating connections with the people for whom we build software, websites, etc. After all, we design and build tools to solve the needs of actual people, not some generic “user”.