Even in the fast-changing world of web technology, WordPress stands out. Sixteen years ago, it was a humble blogging platform. Today, it powers nearly a third of all public websites on the internet. And all this happened without the backing of a technology behemoth like Microsoft, Apple, or even Red Hat.
The WordPress story isn’t without a big, fat asterisk. The same features that make WordPress websites so easy to build can send developers sailing into dark waters. If you’ve ever lived with a WordPress website over the long term, you’ve probably experienced security shortcomings, plugin conflicts, brittle templates, and other headaches.
The robots are here. They’re scanning shelves at your local supermarket, delivering food, and even assisting nurses in the hospital. As the robots begin to infiltrate human spaces, questions remain for designers and engineers tasked with convincing people to view them as approachable and friendly, rather than ignoring or avoiding them?
The name of the first programmer to ever code a popup window telling a user that they had made an error is undoubtedly lost to history, but the impact of that one simple choice resonates even today. That early coder, faced with the difficulty of building software set a dangerous and counter-productive precedent we as a community have internalized to our detriment.
It created an adversarial dichotomy between developer and user, based on the false assumption that such a thing as a “user error” exists. It does not.