18th March 2011 by Jason C. Filed under: Design
Sometimes when working on a project there can be a little friction between different groups. Where people’s jobs are different, their goals are different, and their processes differ and lie outside their collaborators’ expertise. Three distinct groups come to mind from my own experience: the client, the designer and the developer. Sometimes lines are blurred between the three, and sometimes the designer is replaced by a project manager, though often this project manager can be thought of as the designer’s proxy.
One issue that crops up fairly often for me is when trying to get websites or html email to look consistent across different browsers / email clients. There’s a golden rule about, that I think anyone commissioning web development should know:
Websites will not look the same in all browsers.
Nor should they. Each browser uses a layout engine to format the pages of the websites you visit. There are a lot of different layout engines out there, built differently and for different purposes.
Users have different settings. Some users have low res screens so won’t see the whole width of the site, some have high res screens and will have to enlarge the default font size to be able to read what’s written. Some are on dial-up and will have disabled background images, others will be browsing the site on their phone or tablet.
So not only is it impossible to make sure that all browsers show exactly the same page to everyone, it isn’t desirable either. If I want to set my font size larger so I can read my laptop while sitting comfortably in a chair, then that’s my business, and I don’t want some jumped-up website over-ruing me and setting the fonts so small I have to squint.