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Chapter 3. Knowing Your Customers: Princ... > Understand the Technology

Understand the Technology

Do you know which tools your customers have at their disposal, which tools are available to you, and what the capabilities and limitations of these tools are? For example, how many of your customers have fast Internet connections? If most people have slow network connections, using a lot of large images is not a good idea. By understanding how the Internet works, you can design Web pages that are faster to download. See Pattern Group L—Speeding Up Your Site, for more information.

Technology is a broad issue, but unfortunately it is either completely ignored or given too much primacy in designs. When Web design teams overlook the fact that many of their customers do not have the latest Web browser and plug-ins, they wind up with customers who are puzzled because they see nothing at all on the Web site. (This is not as uncommon as you might think. Just try surfing the Web with JavaScript turned off and you will see what we mean.) When technology becomes the central factor in Web design, it becomes technology for technology's sake. The customer's needs are certainly not being met on sites like this.


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