Avi Schwab

Senior Front-End Developer

University of Chicago > IT Services > Web Services


I manage UChicago Sites

Hosted templating service for departments, divisions, offices, labs, and more at UChicago with over 300 live sites and another 100+ in development.

All this is to say... We have many users of all skills and abilities.

10 Things I Hate About U(sers)


The Taming of the User


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the User

1. Users will do whatever you let them...

...so only give them what they need.

2. Users will try to do things they shouldn’t...

... so make sensible input filters, use tokens, etc.

3. Users will have a hard time...

...so make useful inline documentation.

4. Users will need your help, no matter what...

...so give them direct access to answers, and let them ask questions

5. Users love <span id="wtf">nasty markup</span>...

...so take advantage of “Paste from Word” or “Paste as plain text”.

6. Users don’t speak our language...

...so speak to them in theirs.

7. Users are not all created equal...

...so use roles wisely.

8. Users aren’t always patient...

...so empower them to do things like clear caches
(when you can).

9. Users will (eventually) ask good questions...

...so ask them to RTFM, then follow up.

10. Users will do amazing things you never thought possible...

...so maybe don't hate them,
not even a little bit, not even at all.


P.S. We're hiring. bit.ly/ITS-FED

Screenshots made with LICEcap. As other internet people say "It’s not an attractive name, it’s not a sexy product, but it’s amazing for recording a portion of your desktop into a GIF."