During Dan Cederholm’s talk at An Event Apart he brought up the topic of progressive enhancement. I’m pretty excited about all the things that CSS3 will allow us to do but I also have some reservations. Do we go crazy and start embracing all these new-fangled CSS things or do we look at our content and design and see if they add meaning and clarity to our message?

<Bling />

The excitement around border radius and text shadow are definitely understandable. It makes me think of the HTML days of yesteryear when I was just learning. I thought that <Blink> and <Marquee> were THE COOLEST THINGS IN THE WORLD!!! But let’s stop a second and think – The way I was using these tags were not thought out and they didn’t add to the message I was trying to convey. They were just BLING.

We need to back up our design decisions instead of always jumping on the “cool things” bandwagon.

I’m Guilty…

I worked on a website a few months ago in which I implemented rounded corners.  I have to admit that I really had no reasoning for using border radius on this navigation. Now that I take a look at it again it does not really fit with the design either. I think of sports or athletic training as something that’s straight forward and rounded corners are more of a softer touch. So

Some Progressive Enhancements To Consider…

…if they suit your design :)

Border Radius

View the CSS

RBGA Transparency

View the CSS

Text Shadow

Apple Style nav tutorial that uses text shadow

Conclusion

Just because you can does not mean you should…unless you have a reason for it.

What do you think?

Do you live by CSS3 and think its the greatest thing since sliced bread? Leave a comment! Are you an ie6 lover and don’t use anything not supported by the outdated browser? I want to hear from you! Chime in and let your voice be heard. :)

BTW- you can download the slides from Dan’s AEA09 talk here (PDF)