The case for progressive enhancement

Alex Maughan gives some great front-end design and development tips in his article Mobile-first, semantic, and modular front-end design. If any part of your work touches front-end development, I highly recommend this piece. In addition to walking through the tools he uses (and his reasoning), Alex also makes a strong case for progressive enhancement:

Designs should be approached with a content-first and mobile-first mindset. Following this, CSS breakpoints should always be mobile-first. All JavaScript should be progressively enhanced and should be used at a conscientious minimum where possible. Therefore, the concept of progressive enhancement happens from all aspects, from design to development and back again.

All of this translates into websites that are much more future-friendly within a disruptive device and browser marketplace. It also has the added benefit of improving performance and guarding against fatal runtime errors that stop pages from working.

I haven’t yet linked to many pieces on progressive enhancement. As I went through my Pinboard links just now I realized that 2013 has been a big year for this topic. These are all the articles I know about that came out this year in strong defense of progressive enhancement:

I don’t know, it sounds like it’s not dead yet…