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FIGURE 1.2 “Best viewed in Google Chrome” sounds
like a step back to the days of “Best viewed in IE4.”
Now, I'm not saying that all content should be acces-
sible to all people: It is not always that simple. But you
should make such allowances whenever possible.
But everyone needs to take a step back when considering such innovations and
not lose sight of the original qualities and best practices that made the web great,
such as accessibility, usability, and graceful degradation.
In terms of my perspective on web design, I am really a “web 1.0” kinda guy. Inno-
vative technologies are exciting, and you can fully appreciate their importance in
the evolution of the web. But what is more exciting is the universal nature of the
web. It's the fact that you can take the same content, style it in a million different
ways, and still have it remain accessible to all web users the world over regardless
of how they use the web—be it on a mobile phone, using only keyboard controls,
or via a screen reader.
It is something designers and developers shouldn't lose sight of, but often we
do. Whenever an exciting new web technology comes to the forefront, too many
sites tend to pop up that go wild with the shiny and forget about the basic tenets.
Recently, you've seen a sad reemergence of “This site is best viewed in…” messages,
which should have been eliminated after the original browser wars ended a decade
or so ago. And what about important text content rendered in <canvas> , which is
therefore inaccessible? And how about CSS3 features that could work across mul-
tiple browsers but don't because the designer has only used the -webkit- prefixed
version of the property? That designer might say, “Oooh, but it's an app; therefore,
it's important to lock out anyone who isn't using a device of the correct level of
shininess” ( Figure 1.2 ).
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