Things have been pretty silent on the Web Standards front in the last year but I’m sure the noise level will by pickup by next year as the HTML 5 specification is gradually going to be implemented on browsers and other apps (particularly the trend-setting Google Wave).
Web designers who are serious in their crafts should definitely take a look at the HTML 5 spec as I see it to be a game-changing upgrade of skills for the web design-folk. If you’re a web designer, I have a couple reasons why HTML 5 should be in your radar:
- It will change your workflow – With new elements for tags, I’m sure it will take a lot of getting used to. If you coded <div>’s on your sleep, that will change in HTML 5 as more semantic tags like <section>, <article>, and <aside> are around. Also, you may be tasked to migrate HTML 4/XHTML 1.0-coded pages into HTML 5.
- It puts more emphasis on wider interaction mechanisms – I have to admin, designing for the “old” web is simpler as the interaction interface is primarily HTML forms. But if there’s anything we’ve seen in the last two years of web design, interaction has evolved and HTML 5 makes it more official. Free-form drawing via the <canvas> element, drag-and-drop, and active background processes mean some changes in the web design philosophies designers are used to.
HTML 5 is definitely a richer spec and would definitely make the Web a more immersive place. It’s now up to us, the people making websites, if we can make it happen for our end users.