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Dennis Kardys
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Dennis Kardys

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"introducing unnecessary dependencies on what's essentially a list of links and limiting the sites accessibility as a result." Well said. It boggles my mind the amount of money and time that many people want to throw at creating an cleverly designed/animated site map or link-farm.The good fight is not always an easy fight.
Brad Frost originally shared:
A fantastic reminder to use progressive enhancement for Javascript.

+Jack Bishop and I gave a presentation at BK.js a few weeks ago about progressive enhancement for the mobile web (thanks +Marco Carag!). During the Q and A, someone asked "With all this diversity and inconsistent/shaky support for this Javascript for mobile browsers, why don't we just rely more on HTML?" EXACTLY. Yet it was asked as a question.

There's a mentality that in order to do create functional experiences in the browser, especially for mobile, you need to use some hardcore JS framework, rewrite the scrolling logic, add a bunch of interstitial animations, create overlays and add swipes. I have nothing against frameworks or these techniques, but for whatever reason people think they're a prerequisite for creating mobile web experiences. They're not.

One of my favorite mobile sites is Target's: (great job +Matt Menzer). The beauty of this experience isn't in the mind-blowing animations, it's about the clarity of the content, the speed in which the page loads and the accessibility of the experience.

Contrast Target's mobile experience with's mobile experience: In case you're not familiar with it aggregates links from social sites and creates a digest. The focus should be on the content, but instead the focus rests on a very complex system of loaders, scrollers, fixed position elements and native-feeling UI elements. Note: it may not seem bad on a desktop or iPhone 4s, but try firing it up on an Android, Windows Phone, or Blackberry. Another note: this was made with Sencha, which again I have nothing against (quite the opposite), I just feel it's better suited for hybrid apps that aren't deployed over the web.

The difference between Target's and's sites is that one is working with the constraints of the medium and using those constraints to it's advantage, while the other is introducing unnecessary dependencies on what's essentially a list of links and limiting the site's accessibility as a result.

Are there cases for creating experience that rely heavily on Javascript? You betcha. Here's a great one right here: The purpose of this project was to show off Window's Phone's attractive Metro UI in hopes to woo other smartphone owners over to Microsoft's side. Very clever concept indeed. Could such an immersive experience be progressively enhanced and achieve this level of fidelity? No. The reason this works so well is that the audience they were trying to reach with this experience are other smartphone owners (ones with notably better browsers than WP7 I might add).

The fact is that as we head into this new era of diversity, all bets are off. We're going to have to create experiences for extraordinarily capable devices as well as low-powered, inexpensive, good-enough devices. Screw them you say? Take a look at how the Kindle Fire is selling. Look at the Nook Color. Look at what phones Metro PC and Cricket are pushing in full-swing this holiday season. They might be Android and Blackberry phones, but they sure as hell aren't the Nexus S. The Zombie Apocalypse ( is here, my friends, and it's up to us to readjust our assumptions.

/cc +Jenn Lukas
That “JavaScript not available” case. Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at 4:02 pm. During some interesting discussions on Twitter yesterday I found that there is now more than ever a confusion about JavaSc...
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