Progressive Enhancement vs Graceful DegradationDecember 19th, 2011 |
So, it’s Christmas and you just got that big 42″ Hi Def Tv with the 3D option. So a couple weeks go by and you’re noticing the 3D just isn’t cutting it. The picture isn’t as sharp and the 3d just doesn’t pop like it did when it’s new. So you call up the company that made the tv and you ask that since you’re TV is still under warranty that you’d like to have the 3d repaired. They tell you that they’d be happy to fix the tv free of charge, but you’ll have re-wrap the tv and ship it directly to the manufacturer, paying for the shipping and handling yourself. By the time it’s over you might end up spending a 100 dollars and be out of a TV for 2 or 3 weeks! Well instead of getting the work done you decide the 3D just isn’t worth the hassle. You’re still able to enjoy the movie in glorious HD and besides it was eating up too much money in batteries for those so-so 3D glasses.
The World Wide Web kinda works like this when it comes to the latest and greatest vs. the tried and true. It’s a good practice as a designer to build in functionality so that as time goes on your work can still be presented in it’s best light, even if it’s not the latest technology. A great example of this would be the text shadow option in css. Some day this will be standard on all browsers. For the moment you need to insert something called a “Web kit” that tells a specific browser what to do. A careful designer would be sure to include a back up should the technology not be available on an older set up. By using good html structure a beautifully designed css website can still function when all of it’s bells and whistles are removed. It’s important that this built in structure remain intact in order to anchor the website just in case a browser has failed to update to the latest version. Other wise your website might just end up being a huge paper weight.