Bad Assumptions

There are common assumptions web creators make. I’m guilty of them myself. One common assumption is that if the visitor is on a large screen then they must have a pretty decent connection, and as a result are sent large images and (often) auto-playing background videos.

This is a very bad assumption.

Case in point

The power to my house went out late last night. It’s still out this morning. I’m trying to get work done by connecting to a generator in the garage for power. My laptop is tethered to my phone which has two bars of AT&T LTE. My connection is clocking in at around 120 Kbps. And that’s only when the site manages to load at all. report: Your internet speed is 120 Kbps

As someone who’s accustomed to a fast connection, I’m finding it very difficult to accomplish any work that requires an internet connection. And believe me, I understand how privileged I am when it comes to technology and broadband. But I’m honestly considering giving up trying to work over tethering. If there’s one silver lining to this situation it’s that I’m reminded that even my current limited and relatively slow connection is still better than the everyday experience for millions of people, and the overall importantance of web performance.

P.S. My connection stopped working entirely while writing this. I had to wait until the power came back to post it.