Humans aren’t cost efficient

Developer’s should have 30 inch monitors – but not everyone in Quality Assurance should.

I’m finding more and more web sites that are building web applications that just don’t scale well – not even to 800×600 much less a mobile phone.  My blog template is an example.

The truth is, I don’t have enough time to twiddle and get everything just so.  So I allow for a certain percent of visitors to be disappointed.  Current CSS tools are lacking – but that’s all another story.

Every company that deploys web applications should have 800×600 PC’s in their lab, they should have a UMPC and a Tablet PC.  As well as all the other standards – (the most popular 5 browsers, on as many computing platforms (Mac, PC, Linux, etc) as they an afford).

When you consider that the people most likely to use alternative computers (UMPCs, cell-pones, etc) are early adopters, and early adopter do influence adoption rates, it pays to pay attention to detail, and to your audience.

Some Examples:

  Google Reader doesn’t work well on my Toshiba Portege 3505 laptop.  It’s old, but it just works, and it’s the computer on my bedside table – so I use it a lot.  The “previous and next” buttons appear normal, but there is only a 1mm or so “hot spot” on the buttons – the complete button surface isn’t active.

  Windows Live Writer usually renders even my poor CSS correctly – until you start shrinking the screen.  Then it gets “whacked”.  It makes pictures, like the one I posted in the post before this to look correct on my screen, but render twice the width of my CSS area.  SO it looks like crap.  Wen I post from my bed (which I do more than I would care to admit), I always have to go back on my desktop machine and fix things. 

Testing visual rendering is hard – because it’s difficult currently impossible to script.  You really need a human to do it.  And Humans aren’t cost efficient.  So the testing just appears to not get done.  Which gives me a crappy user experience.  But their are billions of people on the web, and hundreds of millions using these tool.  I don’t expect to be heard.


  1. This bugs me too. I didn’t get the memo saying that everything required a Widescreen capable display and it irritates me.