Natty Coleman

Designer. Maker.

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Graceful Degradation vs. Progressive Enhancement

 Browsers or Content

I’ll admit it: I came from a world and a time where some of my first experiences designing for the web were soured by having to tweak my oh-so-perfect layout to “dumb it down” for older browsers. I’d get so frustrated that those using said browsers wouldn’t get a chance to behold my amazing layout skillz and lament the various made-up reasons why everyone couldn’t just use insert latest browser magic here.

So what is the solution to this seemingly intuitive but ultimately mistaken approach to building sites?


Our sites, designs, apps, whatever, are nothing if not content-based, or content-driven. These are sites that move, change, or display content. This is the fundamental reason for the site’s existence and should be at the core of how a site is built.

Solving the dilemma of broswer-issues doesn’t start with worrying about browsers. It starts...

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HTML Abstractions

 Jade, Markdown, and Others for Fun and Profit

So picture this horrendous scenario: you are wrapping up some front-end work on a moderately sized website, say 10-20 pages of content, a few standardized layouts between them, and you were even wise enough to create a standard style library for use across the whole site. Smart cookie! You assumed because the client didn’t need dynamic content as this was an informational “brochure” type site that you didn’t need to work about partials, includes, or any other that other node/express nonsense. Deployment is tomorrow and the client gets a look at the latest build and decides to arbitrarily to change the layout arrangement of the content on 3 of the product detail pages and, oh, he wants a picture of his cats in the footer on every page! He’s also sending new content for all of the page descriptions, and is PowerPoint alright? Uh oh, you...

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