When developing sites for clients, here are some of the most common requests;
1. Valid HTML
2. Valid CSS
4. Looks the same on all browsers.
These are all features and information clients have learned from developers, agencies and their salesmen. They have been taught over the past ten or more years these are the things to expect with a site, the ‘best practices’.
It’s well past time to update their list of buzzwords, to “re-educate” them if you will.
As developers and professionals it’s our duty. To inform our clients who we’ve already taught once that the old methods are old. We need to teach them how we do things now, and why the new methods are better.
Almost half of the time a web developer works is spent making sites look ‘pixel-perfect’ across various browsers. That’s a lot of time. The web has changed, and is constantly evolving. The idea of having a site render identically across all devices, browsers, etc. is something that came from the print-era, a draconian time that pre-dates the web, and has no place ruling over it.
This is no longer the early 2000’s. We are no longer solely developing for IE6 on desktops. In a realistic modern view, we are developing for an incredible amount of devices; phones, TV’s, Handheld PCs, Tablets, Gaming consoles, the list is ever growing.
Attempting to build for the pixel perfect mind of a print designer is against the grain, and will make your site less accessible. The areas of focus for today’s world should be:
A website should be developed so that it can be read on any device.
A website that is not usable is useless.
We need to re-educate our clients on ‘adaptive design’ or ‘responsive design’, letting go of the ‘pixel’ and letting the ‘percent’ or ‘em’ take over. Allow sites to scale to any device, to make them fluid and make them ‘future-proof’. We should be introducing them to features in HTML5, CSS3 and all the wonderful things they bring, helping them to understand rather than fear the changes of the ever-evolving web.
Build for the web of today and tomorrow, not ten-years ago.