A plea for progressive enhancement

added by pwhe23
1/5/2012 2:38:27 PM

3 Kicks, 155 Views

This is vitally important people so listen up. The web now connects a third of our planet. Over 1.2 billion people [1] use the web on devices, and this number is rising fast. Mobile already amounts to close to 6.5% of web traffic worldwide, and large sites such as Facebook and YouTube routinely report mobile traffic of at least 30%. By 2015, the ITU predicts mobile traffic will exceed desktop traffic and the ‘mobile-mostly’ group already make up a staggering 20% of users in the US and UK.


1/6/2012 11:00:41 AM
Progressive enhancement is important, but it's also a difficult thing to get right. It's something that needs to be taught from the beginning, and I don't see many books on it. Hopefully that will change soon.

1/6/2012 11:11:53 AM
Actually I think this is less and less important. Sure it is still important for government information sites and other educational sites, but with the growth of HTML5 and new enhanced Javascript frameworks, many websites just would not make sense without Javascript enabled. I do agree that things like menus should be developed as un-ordered lists that should work regardless of Javascript, but we have moved beyond the document mode and in fact some websites are designed as single pages that only use ajax to load new information and behaviors. Again while some core information and educational sites should be required to adhere to progressive enhancement, the vast majority of sites do not need to and in fact it is usually cost prohibitive on development costs to demand it.

1/6/2012 11:28:39 AM
Don't forget about screenreaders, though. Many of them do not work well if the site doesn't use proper semantics and doesn't have a proper fallback. Search engines also cannot index your site without proper fallback.