Something to think about

There was a time not that long ago when many drivers thought nothing of tossing empty bottles out the windows of their cars. Years later, these same citizens came to realize that littering was not an acceptable way to dispose of their trash. The web design community is now undergoing a similar shift in attitude, and web standards are key to this transformation.

Standards are vital to any medium. Because the software through which the web is viewed finally supports standards, it makes sense to learn about and correctly use them. Doing so saves time and money, reduces overhead, extends the usable life of our sites, and provides greater access to our content.

Put two designers in a room and you will hear three opinions. No two designers are likely to agree on every aspect of typography, branding, navigation, or color. The same is true of standards. There are as many disagreements in this realm as there are practitioners and theorists.

Put the other way...

Our best efforts in design, architecture, and usability will be wasted if our sites stop working in Browser X or Device Y. There could be no filmmaking without industry-wide agreement on frame rates, lenses, and audio recording techniques. Likewise, the continued health of web design and development depends on the adoption of web standards. Without these standards, there can be no true usability and no coherent approach to design.

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