By using a “simple-first” approach, front-end developers can create a healthier internet.
The last couple of years have not been pretty for the tech industry. With the average user growing more wary of how their online data is being used and more frustrated by disruptive online advertising, how can developers work to create a safer, more useful, and more ethical web in 2020?
Simplicity goes hand-in-hand with accessibility and privacy.
Consider the “share” button snippet provided by Facebook:
Now consider a simpler solution to create the same functionality:
By using a humble html link, we not only protect the user’s privacy, but also make the page faster and more reliable.
Guidelines for the “simple-first” approach
Rethink advertising - Sites that use Google and Facebook’s advertising platforms end up being slow, bloated behemoths that are inaccessible to users who don’t have the latest gadgets. These scripts stalk users around the internet to establish eerily detailed advertising profiles. Luckily, there are more respectable advertising solutions like Codefund, as well as alternative methods of monetizing your content.
Use vetted third-party integrations - When possible, use third-party packages and APIs built by developers who share your interest in creating a better web.
Developers don’t always get the final say on all of these decisions, but if more of us advocate for a “simple-first” approach we can prove that engaging and successful web products can be created without sacrificing trust or accessibility.