Simon Willison’s Weblog

Interview with Steve Champeon

Meet The Makers are carrying a great interview with Steve Champeon, author, web standards advocate and founder of the Webdesign-L mailing list (which I re-subscribed to today). Steve’s explanation of the concept of “progressive enhancement” is particularly interesting:

The idea is to separate not only the structure from its presentation, but also make distinctions between what content needs to be arranged in what way for lowest common denominator browsers, and how to build on that structure, adding more features for those browsers that can handle them. It’s basically just taking the idea of a “target browser” and throwing it away, and taking the idea of “graceful degradation” and standing it on its head. We’re trying to make sure we build sites that not only work okay everywhere, they’re designed to work everywhere before they do fancy things in modern graphical desktop browsers. It’s too common to build sites that work “right” in IE/Win and work “acceptably poorly” everywhere else. I think it’s ridiculous, it’s lazy, and it’s not that much more work to do it right.

The concept is expanded upon in Steve’s recent presentation Inclusive Web Design For the Future.

This is Interview with Steve Champeon by Simon Willison, posted on 4th April 2003.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2003/04/04/interviewWithSteveChampeon