Thursday, December 07, 2006

ALA's: Avoiding Edge Cases

I work in information design. My current gig has been an interesting ride. I have put two front ends on our portal and it's all done with XHTML and CSS for presentation. That's great except for the amount of markup it takes to code the design you see. The problem isn't so much the design as the lack of consistency otherwise known as edge cases (how to avoid them). Almost every page is an edge case, which flushes the benefits of designing with web standards down the drain. What causes this? Often, it is not putting in or having the time to plan in the beginning. It only costs more in the end in the form of bloated CSS, which is hard to maintain and a difficult foundation for growth. My biggest pet peeve is when a complex website starts as graphic composites rather than simple information architecture, such as wire frame documents.

There's a great article on A List Apart right now on the subject titled: Avoid Edge Cases that should be required reading for all web producers. The photo (above) is a joke, but it's often more documentation than existed when designers started comping a project around here. Hopefully that time has passed.

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