As would be expected from a former manager of the Web Standards Project, Aaron Gustafson is passionate about web standards and accessibility. He has been working on the web for nearly two decades and recently joined Microsoft as a web standards advocate to work closely with their browser team. He writes about whatever’s on his mind at aaron-gustafson.com.
Caching media files, especially images, seems like an obvious way to improve performance, but should we? To provide a more performant UX without abusing users’s network connections or hard drives, Aaron Gustafson puts a spin on classic best practices, experiments with media caching strategies, and shares smart Cache API tricks.
Semantic markup has always mattered, but with voice interfaces rapidly becoming the norm, it now matters more than ever. Aaron Gustafson shows us how simple HTML tags can have a huge impact with voice interfaces.
We think of our job as controlling the user’s experience. But the reality is, we control far less than we imagine. And that’s by design: it’s how the web, and the networks that serve it, are supposed to work. ALA’s Aaron Gustafson shows the many ways our medium conspires to break our carefully crafted experiences, and shares solid advice on what we can do about it.
Designers have used grids for centuries. And after more than 20 years of waiting, they are finally here for the browser. This is the story of CSS Grid. It took a lot of people in the right place and at the right time to make it happen.
A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website with special powers. Despite what you might have heard, most websites—and, more importantly, their readers—can benefit from becoming PWAs. And it’s so easy! New A List Apart editor-in-chief Aaron Gustafson explains.
Organize multiple style sheets to simplify the creation of environmentally appropriate visual experiences. Support older browsers while keeping your CSS hack-free. Use generated content to provide visual enhancements, and seize the power of advanced selectors to create wondrous (or amusing) effects. Part two of a series.
Steven Champeon turned web development upside down, and created an instant best practice of standards-based design, when he introduced the notion of designing for content and experience instead of browsers. In part one of a series, ALA’s Gustafson refreshes us on the principles of progressive enhancement. Upcoming installments will translate the philosophy into sophisticated, future-focused design and code.
For seven years, the DOCTYPE switch has stood designers and developers in good stead as a toggle between standards mode and quirks mode. But when IE7, with its greatly improved support for standards, "broke the web," it revealed the flaw in our toggle. The quest was on to find a more reliable ensurer of forward compatibility. Is version targeting the answer?
Anticipating your users' needs is the key to making a good impression; it's the little things that matter most. ALA technical editor Aaron Gustafson explains why progressive enhancement means good service.