Any good sea captain knows that, when it comes to icebergs, the observed danger is absolutely nothing compared to the potential catastrophe that stretches out for fathoms beneath the ocean’s surface. For the iceberg shows only a mere ten percent of its overall mass to the topside world. The overwhelming bulk of the iceberg (and the massive danger it presents to the captain’s vessel and cargo) is positioned underwater and out of sight.
In many respects, your web development project is exactly like an iceberg.
The typical non-technical web development client, who has never plumbed the methodological depths of computer programming and software design, will inevitably be able to see only the tip of this iceberg when it comes to the technical particulars of their project. Because they only come into contact with the user interface that allows the less tech savvy layman to control and interact with the web site, they often assume that this is the only part of the web development process that truly matters. When a nonprogrammer views a screen which has a user interface that is 80% percent worse, he or she will automatically think that the program is 80% percent worse; and, conversely, if a nonprogrammer is shown a screen which has a user interface that is 100% beautiful he or she will assume that the program development is going perfectly well and, what’s more, is probably nearing completion. What this typical, nonprogrammer client fails to realize is that the vast majority of the program and the technical work that it goes into it will be invisible in the user interface they so love or dislike. They fail to recognize this work because they cannot see it. It is the ninety percent of the iceberg that lies under the surface. Unfortunately, it is also the ninety percent that ultimately influences the overall functionality of the final website in question.
App testers know this phenomenon all too well. Seeing only the tip of the iceberg, web development clients tend to judge progress and innovation solely on the superficial attractiveness of a program’s user interface, while ignoring (or remaining ignorant of) the nuts and bolts that allow this interface to work properly. This inevitably leads to an industry that stresses trivial design aesthetics over functional programming concerns and, therefore, to an industry that ultimately values flash over substantial usefulness. As a web development client, you must ask yourself if you are getting the value you truly deserve from that website with the slick, polished look. You must ensure that you are taking into consideration the ninety percent of the iceberg that only your web developer can see, for it is this vast preponderance that will either sink you or leave you blissfully afloat.
For your web development project, be sure to seek out a tester who understands the profound significance of perception fully appreciates its potential hazards in the eyes of the client. Because your tester is the one with the expert technical knowledge, it is his or her responsibility to understand the iceberg effect and to try to mediate the perception with