Tim Brown

Resilient Web Design

A little while ago, while I mowed the lawn, I listened to Jeremy Keith’s excellent Resilient Web Design. Jeremy often tells good stories about how the web came to be, and here he has distilled those into a great one, citing specific people’s contributions to the web’s existence and complexion, and using history as a means of laying out fundamental principles that ensure the web’s continued success — which is to say, human achievement.

On collaboration over time:

The history of human civilisation is a tale of cumulative effort. Each generation builds upon the work of their forebears. Sometimes the work takes a backward step. Sometimes we wander down dead ends. But we struggle on.

On control:

Relinquishing control does not mean relinquishing quality. Quite the opposite. In acknowledging the many unknowns involved in designing for the web, designers can craft in a resilient flexible way that is true to the medium.

On progressive enhancement:

This layered approach to the web allows the same content to be served up to a wide variety of people. But this doesn’t mean that everyone gets the same experience.

On the future:

I wish I could predict the future. The only thing that I can predict for sure is that things are going to change. I don’t know what kind of devices people will be using on the web. I don’t know what kind of software people will be using on the web. The future, like the web, is unknown.