WEB STANDARDS - MAXIMISE COMPATIBILITY, MINIMISE DIFFERENCES
What do people see when they visit your website? It almost certainly won't be the same as what you see when you visit it. After all, it's extremely unlikely they'll be using the same hardware and software set-up that you are?
Every Website Visitor Is Unique
Every visitor to your website is unique because the hardware and software set-up they use will vary. Among others, these set-up variations will include:
- Their Screen - Screen Type, Screen Size, Screen Resolution, Screen Colour Profile, Screen Ratio, Screen Contrast
- Their Operating System Software (Platform) - Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, Linux Based OS, plus the many and varying operating systems found on mobile devices
- Their Web Browser Software - MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, Opera
- Their Web Browser Configuration - Text Size, User Stylesheets, Plugin Usage, Scripting Set-up, Accessibility Settings
Each of these variations, and their many permutations, will effect the appearance of your website. The reality is, you can't completely control how your website is going to look to every single person who visits it. But there are two important things you should do - minimise differences, and ensure your website always remains usable.
Web Standards - Minimise Differences
Some Web Developers (often inadvertently) use proprietary code, without realising that the consequences for some, will be a website that doesn't function correctly. We at Frieze Design however, are strong advocates of 'Web Standards'.
Web Standards, put simply, is about writing code and following practices that are known to work for everyone. By writing code that is clean, nonproprietary, and based on open standards, our websites are widely 'understood' across visitor set-ups (Browsers and Platforms) thus minimising the differences in appearance and functionality.
Websites That Remain Compatible and Usable
A 'correctly' coded website remains usable by the separation of 'form' and 'content' - 'data presentation' from 'raw data' . Making the 'content' independent, allows the possibility to exchange and use this same content across technologies and/or media.