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Don't forget about your low-bandwidth users

We’re out of town for the weekend and are pretty much out in the boonies. Cellular access is mind-numbingly slow at best, but I’m still trying to keep up with Twitter and my feeds while I’m here.

I came a cross a link to the Forrst App Competition (http://forrstappcontest.com) via the ThinkVitamin blog and decided to check it out.

As the page started loading (which, when fully rendered, consists of dark text inside a lighter-colored content area, all laid on top of a dark page background) it quickly became apparent that no one had ever tested this site on a slow connection. The text loaded fine, then almost as quickly the dark page background loaded. The image used for the lighter content area, however, had not.

This left me with, for all intensive purposes, fully loaded content. I couldn’t access any of said content though because the dark text was laying directly on top of the dark background, making it difficult (if not impossible) to read. I had to wait minutes for my slow connection to pull down the background image before I could read the content.

For me this was a minor inconvenience, but don’t forget that some people have this slow of access all the time. They still have thoughts they want to share and money to spend on your products, so don’t ‘leave them in the dark.’

Now I can’t wait to get home and make sure this problem doesn’t exist with any sites we’re currently running.

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