Designers and UX experts love talking about making content as accessible as possible on the web. I’m a huge fan of this idea. “Graceful Degradation” and “Progressively Enhancement” are honorable practices that support the notion, which in essence allow us to design for the best and worst technology at the same time. So far so good.
It affords everyone an accessible experience, and we certainly don’t want to be held back by the tiny fraction of users still using a certain legacy browser.
Not all old or slower technology translates to small numbers, though. It’s not at all beneficial to ignore perhaps the largest audience in tech: the one that isn’t using the very latest technology. If your website or app’s user experience is so resource-intensive that thousands upon thousands of user devices slow to a crawl, we’re actually not gracefully degrading - we’re alienating people.
We should be careful to ensure our best-practices don’t become synonymous with “half-baked version” for users. Rather, we should consider the largest audiences in our design decisions from the very beginning.
Designers should consider ‘upgrading’ to a less expensive phone as a main device. One that has less processing power, less graphic performance and less storage space than their current device.
An artist needs a canvas. Now see what your users see. See what you’re designing for.