Looking at user stats increase my emotional connection with them

It seems that the capabilities of CSS grow exponentially fast the last few years. With the iterop initiative making sure that features are consistent across browsers, life as a Front-end Dev is quite awesome.

Usually when I want to play with all these new toys, I look at Can I Use to see if I can actually use them. But now that we are starting to build a complete design system from scratch, I want to know if I could use features like container queries or the :has() selector. It could, potentially, reduce the complexity of our components quite drastically.

Looking at statistics from our actual users

I keep a close eye to the statistics from our analytics tool to see what browsers our readers use. However, we are very privacy conscious. We use a privacy friendly analytics tool (Matomo), respect the do not track header, track only the data we actually need. That does mean, however, that we don’t know a lot about our users. The section ‘unknown’ in the browser engine section is quite large.

To actually make more informed decisions, I wrote a small script that test CSS features I care about and track those.
Now I have actual data from our users. But then I noticed something when I looked at the data.

I care much more about stats from our actual users than nation wide stats

When I was primarily looking at Can I Use, there was no emotional connection. 85% of users did have Grid support? Great, start using it. Maybe not on critical things, so those 15% that do not have it do not suffer that much.

But now, I have stats like: 91% of our members browsers support the :has() selector. That means 9% of our members, which pay my salary, do not. All of a sudden that is quite a substantial amount!

I find it an even more exiting challenge to provide a base line which I can then progressively enhance. Because these stats remind me that our users are people, not a number.