The Presumption of Unlimited Bandwidth

Related to the presumption of being connected 24/7 is the presumption of unlimited bandwidth.

Unlike geeks and developers, many people do not have a three digit Mbps ISP connection. Not even two digits.

I live in a rural area. On a good day the best connection speed I expect is about 8 Mbps down and 3.5 Mbps up.

Unlike enterprise sponsored developers, home and non enterprise users pay for their bandwidth. Home and non enterprise users do not presume such things.

Many home and non enterprise users have usage caps. The ISP I use has a standard usage cap of 60 GB per month.

Significant improvements in this area are unlikely any time soon.

Developers who presume unlimited bandwidth are making a horrible usability presumption.

The Microsoft folks are guilty of this presumption with their peer-to-peer update mechanism in Windows 10. Linux developers and distro maintainers often make this same flawed presumption.

The Fedora folks are guilty of this presumption too. Or, install a fresh system and notice the rpm cache is deleted immediately.

The solution is straightforward. Better interface design and fully informing users to help them make good decisions for their use case.

Stop presuming.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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