Boston Web Programmer

In Plain English,

I convert design concepts into interactive web pages according to modern professional standards. Although the benefits of well written code can be difficult to understand, I assure you that they are tangible and will effect your bottom line. How? Well, I believe the challenge is best paraphrased by the question, “What percentage of people should your website work for?”

It’s Not As Simple As It Sounds.

Did you know that the blind use the web too? Sure, it seems obvious in retrospect, but did your developers consider it while coding your own website? Most don’t, and in many cases, it means that the screen-reading browsers simply won’t work correctly. Are you willing to write off this audience, even if you don’t have to?

You shouldn’t, but if you have, let me broaden the audience of commonly neglected web surfers:

  • 15% use FireFox, a different behaving web browser
  • 44% use a bad version of Internet Explorer
  • 14% have 800×600 screens, displaying less than you’d think
  • 3.2% don’t have the latest version of Flash
  • 5% don’t run javascript

Don’t Compromise.

After all that, it probably sounds like I promote purely text-driven websites. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so considering that this one comes pretty close, but I’m not. Take a look at www.LatentMotion.com, my agency site, to see an example of a universally operable graphically driven website. So, then what happens to all those split percentages?

Graceful Degradation.

The trick is coding the website to break gracefully. That means knowing of, considering, and testing all the what-if cases. It means providing the code instructions for alternatives. It means writing the code well.

Thus, when an image can’t be viewed, it places explanatory text in it’s place. If flash isn’t available, it shows a static graphic instead. When javascript doesn’t work, it makes the contents that are hidden by default visible instead. In other words, even if it doesn’t work, planned degradation makes it work anyway.

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