I believe that the Web Standards war has been won already. The war I’m referring to is the adoption of proper technologies on the presentation and markup of web pages. I’m convinced that web professionals today see proper XHTML & HTML is a must and designing websites with CSS is now the norm. A few years back, it was a huge plus to design along those lines; now it’s the way things are. While this blog ventured into User Experience, Usability, and Internet Matketing themes more, the lessening content about web standards is perhaps an indicator that the Web Standards war is all but over.
With an admission that the Web Standards war of the last decade is finished, I believe that this blog has accomplished its major mission– I’d like to believe that this blog has been made a little dent in changing web designers’ minds about web standards.
What’s next for me? I plan consolidating my blogging activity this year. My areas of focus are Screensucked (my movie reviews blog) and Big Lakers Fan. If you notice, I’m putting my attention on lighter topics and entertainment, which I find extremely easy to write for. My writing about the web will now be moved to BloggingPro (which covers blogging topics) for the time being.
My other area of focus will be my community and evangelism work. Since I’m the Mozilla Philippines Community Leader, expect more updates on that site, especially about Mozilla’s work on open web standards. If you ask me, most of the web standards stuff will be appearing there. I also started to be the Twitter person of the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO).
On the usability and user experience front, I’m doing a lot if it right now that writing about it may be fatiguing. I may come up with a site on this exclusively in the future.
I owe a lot to this blog that I can’t find it in me to shut it down completely. Who knows? When the next web standards crisis arises, this blog will make a comeback. ðŸ˜€
Fifteen years ago, there were no web designers. The very first web designers in the early days of the web were “traditional” graphic designers that migrated their skills from print to the new media. So a lot of web design today is influenced by print design philosophies.
However, it’s easy to take from granted the differences between print and the web for the designer. Here are some of the key differences revisited:
The Web is Dynamic – the key difference between the two media is that designing for the web means designing for content that will change based on the reader’s interaction. Printed content and design, obviously, will stay the same for eternity.
As far as standards go, the web has a long way to go – From the browsers, to the mark-up standards, and design standards the web is a mish-mash compared to print. If I ask you what the standard for rich media on the web, you’ll probably say “Flash,” but open web standards advocates will point to something else.
As web design matures and print media finds a way to arrest its steady decline, designers will probably dabble on the media more often. Appreciating the difference between the two media could probably go a long way.
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.
Some people say that the battle for Web Standards has been won, with most designers already conscious of standards compliance. But based on my personal observation, there are still a few things about Web Standards that escape even the seasoned vets of web design:
Web Standards-compliance is an authoring approach – Beyond the valid code and compliance to the recommendations, Web Standards takes into account semantic mark-up and accessibility
The Web Standards are held back by software – Yes, I’m talking about browsers. By the end of the year, the HTML 5 specification will most likely be complete. How many browsers will be ready to handle them? We don’t know.
I hope these three little nuggets will help you understand Web Standards better. You can always refer to the Web Standards Project website for more information on this topic. :)
The event will on July 10, 2009 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, Philippines. The conference aims to get every web designer in the Philippines, experienced and beginning, together and spend a day of learning and networking. The event’s program is as follows:
8:00am-8:45am – Registration
8:45am-9:00am – Opening Remarks and Introduction to PWDO by Sophia Lucero
We’re now busy marketing the event and looking for sponsors, and we need all the help we can get. If you know of a company that will benefit from reaching 400 young & tech-savvy folks in one single venue, please direct them to the event website. I guarantee that it will go a long way in helping the Philippine Web Design community.
I’ve been maintaining Standard Web Standards for almost four years now (well, it’s not that long, but in the blogosphere, I would probably qualify as an early adopter) and I’ve seen some changes in the awareness of Web Standards (ie, standards-compliant code, XHTML, CSS, etc.) in the last few years.
I was spurred to create this blog because back then I was doing a lof of web design projects (and designing sites myself) and I was frustrated with the fact that some browsers (*cough*IE*cough*) were misbehaving. But on the bigger picture, I saw Web Standards as a great and practical way for us web designers to elevate the the craft and, arguably, the industry. In 2005, “Web Standards” was a very narrow and geeky space.
Now is a different story. The stranglehold of Internet Explorer on the browser market share is loosening and more websites (especially the new ones) now are written “the standards way.” On a personal level, I’ve changed as well– I’ve been doing less of the design & production side and doing more of the management & marketing side of the web. (That’s why you’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts those topics lately).
That’s why I took some time to review the direction of Standard Web Standards. And my ruminations have brought me to the conclusion to go back to basics. That is, to have this blog go back to its Web Standards roots. (I’ve also decided to put the internet marketing-related matters in my internet marketing blog.).
To be honest, I think my strategy for this blog will result in less updates as the Web Standards scene isn’t as hot as it used to be. Case in point: The number of Web Standards-related articles have been going down, according to Google. Here’s what my research found:
2000 – 1,770 articles
2001 – 1,770 articles
2002 – 1,840 articles
2003 – 2,090 articles
2004 – 2,220 articles
2005 – 2,460 articles
2006 – 2,130 articles
2007 – 1,730 articles
2008 – 1,700 articles
But nonetheless, I hope the direction I’m taking will give me more focus in writing blog posts about web standards.
The Philippine Web Designer’s Organization (PWDO) will be holding the fourth (yeah, it’s already the fourth!) iteration of the <form> + function() & .class Mini Web Design Conference this coming March 18, 2009, 8pm at the G2VC Bar in the Orient Square, Pasig City. (If you’re not familiar with the place, you can check out the map).