Thoughts with a slow connection

A travel to Italy has been for me like a time travel!

I still remember when I used to surf Internet with my old pc with Windows 98SE and my modem 56Kbps!

Life was different: waiting for a web page to come up was not a big deal… it was part of the experience!

Well… Thinking better about it, probably the websites were designed differently with more text, less images and for sure no JavaScript! In total not so many KB of data to download per page.

Now even my grandma (if she was still alive) would know that Internet and its websites are much more complex and heavier!

But who cares?!? There are cheap wired connection at 15Mbps, there is 3G everywhere and 4G is coming out all around the world!

It is really simple, isn’t it?

Well it’s not at all!!!

In my travel in Italy I have spent time in a little village where there is no 3G and it’s hard to find an open hotspot!

The result is me using 2G (GPRS) struggling with any single web page, waiting even minutes to download some content!

In this situation do you know what I learned?

1- Smartphone apps work better than websites mobile oriented: I think the reason is that the apps download only content while the websites, even if are less complex than the desktop ones, still make you download tons of data!

2- There is way too much unnecessary content in any single web page: there are ads, related but not really relevant infos and A LOT of images: KBs that my browser downloads in a huge amount of time!

3- Some key services like bank and credit card accounts, utilities and so on most of the times don’t have a mobile version of their website but only an app that you cannot download because it is simply too big for your connection speed! This is unacceptable! If I need to access my bank account to pay the credit card, I do want a skinny website I can access with any crappy connection!

But more in general: why there are such morons that design these websites assuming that everybody has access to broadband?!?

A website should be self adaptive! There are technologies to do this, to remove unnecessary content based on the time the data is downloaded! In this moment I have at least 3 different ideas to do it and I didn’t even consider special setups of the web servers!

Never never never assume anything! If you have a website that can be necessary to someone, you must provide access even in difficult condition!

Greetings from the (Internet) Paleolithic!

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