Towards a More Beautiful Web

by: Anthony Shull

In the coming months I’ll be writing various posts centered around the theme The Beautiful Web. Gone are the days when a website could just work. From e-commerce sites to marketing micro-sites, visitors expect a website to be more than functional. They expect it to be delightful. Broken CSS, confusing navigation, missing images, etc. undermine users’ trust. Who wants to give their credit card number to a company that can’t put a decent looking site together?

Unfortunately, browser quirks and limitations have made providing a quality experience to our users more difficult than it should be. We’ve often been caught between the two options of adhering to web standards or simply hacking away until everything looked the same. In order to navigate the contradiction, the idea of graceful degradation and progressive enhancement was developed. But, adhering to such standards is costly and time-consuming. The result has been a lot of lowest-common-denominator sites that implement a base level of features supported in every browser. Even worse, many sites look good in every browser but are a mess of code under the hood.

But, finally we designers and developers have some relief in sight with the new standard HTML5. And, with a wide range of cutting-edge technologies from support for vector graphics to threaded javascript it’s going to revolutionize the Web. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and IE9 are committed to supporting the new standard. Even the Android and iPhone web browsers support it. That means, for the most part, we can write the code once and have it appear the same in every browser. So to begin the series, I would like to highlight major features of HTML5 that are relevant to web designers, front end developers, project managers and anyone else interested in the future of the Web.

In my next post I will showcase the new canvas element.

Also here are some links and accompanying images: – Favorite Website Awards

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