Someone asked me recently
Is there any benefit for site owners to fix their web sites?
Context: Someone reports a bug about a Web site, we analyze, diagnose, provide a fix (or an idea) on how to fix it, find a contact, and then try to get it fixed.
Yesterday, I posted an article on how to find contact. My first recommendation is:
- Be tactful: People we are trying to reach have their own set of constraints, bosses, economic choices, etc. "Your web site sucks" will not lead anywhere, except NOT getting the site fixed.
When contacting people, we come with a request which has a cost for the person and/or structure which will need to fix it. Never ever forget this.
Why Should We Fix Our Site?
When the person is asking you why they should fix it, here are a couple of reasons:
Reach out more customers, more users
When a user is being denied access because of the browser they used, it will very often lead to a loss, specifically if this person can use another site for the same type of service. Asking the user to change browsers may lead to annoyance to total sense of frustration. Some platforms, companies do not authorize another browser.
Make the company brand stronger
If the Web site is not properly working on the browser that a person has chosen, it leads to two main feelings: The browser is broken or the site is broken. In the latter case, the user will lower the trust for the company's brand. This is even worse when the company has a kind of monopoly, because the user is both frustrated and forced. Never a good feeling.
Be more forward compatible with the now and future technologies
There are some cases fixing the Web site will make it compatible with the current deployed technology across the Web platform. Old WebKit flexbox syntax is the poster child of this. The new syntax is supported across all platforms.
Be more resilient to changes
Fix now when you have time to do so. Updating to a new syntax (even if keeping around the old syntax) when there is time is a lot better than having to change the full site in hurry because one browser is deprecating the old syntax. Basically you will save money and time by planning your efforts.
We can help
Basically, when we are contacting someone, we not only describe the issue but most of the time, we provide a way to fix it. So basically we help the company to get the code in good shape. We minimize their cost for something they might have to do in the future.
Empathy is key
Do not preach about doing the right thing to someone who is asking about the benefits. It will be a lost battle.
A company is not a perfect entity, a person might say no, when someone just the desk beside think that your contact outreach effort makes sense. If there is too much resistance on one side, try with someone else. Still be mindful. Do not harass all people of the company.
Sometimes, all of this, will not be good enough. There is so much we can do in one day and it's better to focus your energy with people of good will. Just conclude that you can help in the future if they decide to move forward.
You will do mistakes when contacting people. It's ok. Everyone does.