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Rick Viscomi for Google Web Dev

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[Video] The State of the Web: Developing with a global mindset

To many web developers, having a global mindset just means translating the content into various languages. There are also cultural differences that may make a website difficult or even impossible to use. In this video with Andrey Sitnik, he and I talk about some of the tools and techniques for inclusivity.

Some highlights:

  • Users' names can be anything and might not fit the template of your sign up form. Rather than forcing a first and last name, allow them to enter their name into a single "Name" field. And whatever you do, don't enforce minimum character limits!
  • The browsers you support and test with can have a big effect on who is able to use your website. There are pockets of the world where some browsers are more popular than others and the distribution of popularity is not evenly spread.
  • Having fast and reliable access to the internet can be a luxury in some parts of the world. Even in developed countries, connectivity can be intermittent, so building offline resilience lowers the barrier to use.
  • Expand your global mindset by busting out of your tech bubble. If you have the means, attend conferences in parts of the world where you wouldn't normally go. Something everyone can do is simply follow underrepresented people on social media to be exposed to new and different ideas. When you reshare other people's content, think twice about creating an echo chamber and instead consider amplifying underrepresented voices.

What other takeaways resonated with you?

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