Progressive enhancement is an important web design strategy which is used to create websites which are accessible to all devices. There are several benefits of progressive enhancement. It offers improved accessibility. Some readers who cannot read from the screen can read text from screen readers and text readers. Progressive enhancement boosts performance of a website. The layered approach in progressive enhancement ensures that content on the page is loaded first after which the styles and behavior. Progressive enhancement is an approach which can be adopted to reach out to a large audience.
Principles of an important web design strategy
Some core principles of progressive web design is that the basic content should be accessible to most of the web browsers. The basic functionality should be accessible to all web browsers. When you design a site with progressive enhancement you will have to create a design which works for the lowest common denominator. The content which you design for your site should be available to all web browsers. The HTML which you use should be valid and semantically correct so that a wide number of users can view the page. Progressive enhancement is different from graceful degradation in many ways. Graceful degradation is the journey from complex web design to simple web design while progressive enhancement is the journey from simple web design to complex web design.
Advantages of using progressive enhancement
Most web designers consider progressive enhancement as a better alternative to graceful degradation as PE covers a wider range of potential issues. With PE you can plan your project beforehand and make use of basic web technologies. It indicates that you will have a strong base on which you can fall back upon. With a strong base you can release the projects which work and later work on add-ons. Progressive enhancement projects are very easy to maintain and gives users the security that they can access your website using any of the user-agents.
Different strata of PE
Sites which are built with progressive enhancement are easier to maintain. When you make changes the functioning of the site and the content which it includes is not affected. This is because the content and functionality is kept completely separate from the visual elements on the page. You can re-theme your page easily. By simply changing the CSS files. Someone using an outdated browser will be capable of viewing the page. You should not overlook this great benefit of making use of progressive enhancement. Some other benefits of progressive enhancement are greater accessibility and search engine optimization.
Implementing progressive enhancement
When implementing PE the first step is to ascertain the information architecture of your site. Take a look at the content which is available and figure out how it should be organized. You can create wireframes on how you want to show the content. Prioritize the elements which you want to display and the start coding. It is important that you set up the HTML code in the correct order. You will not face problems when you implement progressive enhancement. It is important that you explain the benefits of progressive enhancement to your clients. Explain to them that it is faster and less expensive.
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