Sometimes I check my Google Analytics stats to find out something about my visitors. Today I found out that some of my visitors use a dialup connection. More precisely, 74 visitors during the last month. I must apologize with these visitors if they found my site really heavy to load. The fact is that I'm lazy and easily distracted. I don't check my stats on a regular base, so I missed some important details. People who use a fast connection often forget how much a dialup connection is slow. I mean, really slow. Dialup connections are the last signs and relics of the World Wide Wait model of the '90s. Anyway, if accessibility and usability really matter, we can't overlook this datum. We should provide a way to access our site contents in a reasonable time span. If I think that my 74 visitors had to wait almost a minute to load my blog, there's only one thing that comes into my mind: I am a stupid!
Yes, stupid. Because I've burdened my blog with a lot of extra widgets that add a really little meaning to the overall context. Users, contents, context: in a word, usability. As developers, we must take a decision: developing a web site that takes into account all the needs of dialup users or, on the contrary, an oversized web site with a lot of widgets and micro applications. Of course there's no need to be drastic. If those widgets are really important to the site, we should provide a low-content version of our pages, for example removing all unnecessary widgets and graphics (and scripts too). By doing so, dialup users won't have to wait a month until a page finishes loading. And this is all good reputation that we actually get and if we plan a site accordingly, we deserve it.