December 2, 2016

Let’s Talk About:

Innovation within Convention

True innovation overturns the status quo not by abandoning the rules, but by following them in a new way.

Web standards are the rules of the web road, guardrails for our work that keep us from veering off the path into territories of inaccessibility and irrelevance. Of course, new standards emerge as the web evolves; yet principles of conduct are increasingly important for an ever-growing complexity of digital products and diversity of web users.

In the same way that orchestras play symphonies beautifully by tuning to the same pitch, or basketball players make awe-inspiring shots while staying inbounds, designers and developers do their best work when holding themselves to web standards. Pages should be keyboard-accessible; scrolling should be predictable; buttons and links should look and act like buttons and links; text should be legible; sites should work consistently across browsers.

More than prevent errors, web standards help crystallize design and development decisions by providing boundaries that make invention possible and friendly for all.

For a recent project, we created a visual recount of LeBron's journey to the top 10 NBA scoring list that keeps to web standards while reimagining how visitors move through a web page. Learn more below.

Read About ESPN - LeBron

Community Thoughts on Innovation within Convention...

  1. 1. Stop the Infighting About Digital Standards “The belief that standardization necessarily leads to the boring and uninteresting is too simple. It’s what’s going on inside the structure that is important.”
  2. 2. The Need for Web Design Standards “Users spend most of their time on other websites. In visiting all these other sites, people become accustomed to the prevailing design standards and conventions. Thus, when users arrive at your site, they assume it will work the same way as other sites.”
  3. 3. Material Design: Accessibility “Improving your product’s accessibility enhances the usability for everyone who uses it. It’s also the right thing to do.”
  4. 4. Designing with Web Standards “Web standards are a continuum, not a set of inflexible rules.”
  5. 5. MDN: Web Standards “Web standards are carefully designed to deliver the greatest benefits to the greatest number of web users while ensuring the long-term viability of any document published on the Web.”

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