I’m going to guess that you’ve seen the Motherfucking Website that’s been doing the rounds of social media. But, I’m not sure that everyone made it to the end. It’s pretty important:
I’m not actually saying your shitty site should look like this. What I’m saying is that all the problems we have with websites are ones we create ourselves. Websites aren’t broken by default, they are functional, high-performing, and accessible. You break them.
If you look at the source of that page, it’s pretty basic. It reminds me of the day when I would code HTML by hand, from scratch, in a text editor. (In other news, get off my lawn.)
But why are we creating these problems? Where do they come from? Today I read this article about research by Erin Cech on the ways that engineering education might diminish concerns for public welfare.
“Issues that are nontechnical in nature are often perceived as irrelevant to the problem-solving process,” Cech said. “There seems to be very little time or space in engineering curricula for nontechnical conversations about how particular designs may reproduce inequality – for example, debating whether to make a computer faster, more technologically savvy and expensive versus making it less sophisticated and more accessible for customers.”
Motherfucking Website isn’t specifically concerned with accessibility or social justice. But it does (swearily) identify things that are now so “normal” to do in software that it’s surprising to have them drawn to our attention.