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1.2 The Seven Aspects of Cross Compatibility

On today’s internet, true cross compatibility involves many more variables than it did in the past. In this lesson we'll go over the seven key aspects of a user’s setup that form the foundation of bombproof web design.

1.2 The Seven Aspects of Cross Compatibility

Hey this is Kez Bracey. Welcome to Bombproof Web Design. In this lesson we're gonna go over the real foundation of Bombproof Web Design and that is understanding all the different aspects of an individual user's setup. Back in the day in web design, all you really had to know was, how big was a person's monitor, what resolution could it support and what browser were they using. Was it Internet Explorer or was it Firefox? That was about all the variables that you had to deal with. You might even go so far as to say that the whole process was to decide how wide your site was gonna be, probably about 960 pixels, make it work, and then fix the problems that came up in Internet Explorer. So we still have a bit of a carryover from those days where the main focus on creating cross compatible websites is to do with cross-browser compatibility and that is still a major element of creating fully robust websites but that's not the only thing anymore. Technology has evolved a long way from the days where if you were on the internet you were on a desktop computer and that was it. There's a lot more different things that are in the mix now. So there are seven key aspects of a user set up that can affect how they experience your sites. And you need to know about all of these seven aspects and always be keeping an eye on technology development and what people are doing in each of these key areas. All right, lets go through them all. The first one is what kind of a device are the visitors to your site using. Like I said, back in the day, it used to be just a desktop computer and that was it. Now we also have laptops, netbooks. We've got phones and tablets. For the most part designers are thinking about phones and tablets now, but they're also not the only devices. We've also got things coming up like browsing on the television that's becoming more and more popular as we're seeing smart TVs coming along or people browsing the web via Laptops that'll plug into their TV or via their console. And this presents a whole range of different problems that you're gonna have to think about, and we'll go into all of those later. The second aspect is the operating system. So, on the desktop you might have people using OSX or Windows or Linux, and then in the mobile space you might have iOS or Android, and there's other operating systems that are also coming out, things like Tizen or WebOS, and these also bring different things that need to be considered into the equation. And you'll learn about some of those differences as we move through the course. The third area is user's display, and we used to think just about resolution. So did the person have ten twenty-four by seven-sixty eight as their resolution, or now do they have nineteen twenty width of resolution. But now there's a lot more different ways that a display can operate. So, even if you have three different users with the same resolution so they might have 1920 by 1080. The first person might be on a 5 inch mobile phone. The second person might be at a desk top computer and a third person might be on a 65 inch Television. So that's the same resolution, but the actual display itself is completely different in terms of how you need to optimize for readability on that display. The fourth aspect is users input mechanisms. Now it used to be able to be fairly confident that somebody had a mouse that they could use to trigger things like dropdown menus, but now a user might have only touch interaction. So you have to be able to consider all of these different things. You also might have a person on a couch using a TV who is trying to get around using a remote control. Or you might have somebody that for whatever reason can't use a mouse they need to use a keyboard, and there's a whole series of things that you can do to make sure that your sites are usable for all of the different input mechanisms that your visitors might be utilizing. The fifth aspect is browser choice and that used to be just about the only thing you had to think about. Now it's just one of things you have to think about, and there's more to think about. There were only a few browsers that people were really using, ten years ago, but now there are dozens. So you've got your mainstays of Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari but, you've also got other browsers like Android's native browser. You've got the mobile versions of different browsers. For example, you have Opera on desktop, which is a very robust, very stable browser, but then if you go and use opera mini, you'll find that a lot of CSS attributes aren't supported, and there's a lot of different things to be aware of. So we are gonna go over some of the different considerations that you'll need to make in terms of being fully cross-browser compatible. The sixth aspect is browser settings. It's not enough just to know which browser a person is using, you also have to accommodate the way they have that browser set up. There are some elements of browser settings that you need to make sure not only are you not accidentally overriding with your own design but that you are working with that personal settings to the best of your abilities. And the seventh and final aspect is accessibility. So making sure that people who have visual impairment Hearing impairment, or mobility impairment can all interact successfully with your sites. And that includes making sure that you're set up to work with some assistive technologies. And also that your sites themselves are built with accessibility in mind inside your code. And those are the seven key aspects of cross compatibility. When you understand the way your users are set up, you understand what you need to do to cater for them. Understanding your users is understanding cross-compatibility. And that takes us into the next video in the course, which is about assessing user-based stats. We're gonna take you through how to use some common statistics gathering programs to give you a real insight into what the users of your specific sites, your specific project are doing and what type of a setup they have. I'll see you then.

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