Dan Eden wrote a great piece on remembering the average user as we design and develop new technologies. Silicon Valley and similar places around the world find themselves with the latest technology and (usually) a nearly-endless supply of VC money or profits from the ads on their websites. The ISP’s in their areas are under high demand for faster and better connections, so 100 Mbps download speeds aren’t uncommon.
The problem is designers and developers forget that most people in their target markets aren’t going to have these same amenities, so they design and develop technologies that can’t be used as intended because of limitations the user’s system imposes upon the technology.
This is one of the reasons I used an old MacBook Pro for my software development (until it broke recently) &emdash; its speed was about average for today’s users’ systems. It was easier for me to be a “normal user” of my own software, because I wasn’t running some beefed-up Mac Pro with 64 GB of RAM and a 2 TB SSD or something wild.
Lest we forget that our users aren’t as fortunate as we are, and cater to a higher common denominator because it’s all we know.