Do UK government web sites need to look exactly the same in every browser?

  • Words: Andy Clarke

No, they don’t. As Jeremy Keith so kindly pointed out, it’s a subject that I have been banging on about for quite a while now.

I know it's the right approach, you know it's the right approach. One of the problem's has been that people who are less enlightened are usually the same people who commission our work and pay to keep our children eating something other than coal.

Sure, there have been big players in the internet industry, big players like Yahoo!, who have championed progressive enhancement, progressive enrichment or transcendent css, but somehow their lead often fails to convince clients who can see little in common between a Silicon Valley giant and their own business.

Now, if you work in the UK at least, and you believe that web sites don't need to look exactly the same in every browser, the UK government's own browser testing guidelines support you. (Hat tip to Bruce Lawson)

Section 39 lays it out for you:

You should check that the content, functionality and display all work as intended. However, there may be minor differences in the way that the website is displayed. The intent is not that it should be pixel perfect across browsers, but that a user of a particular browser does not notice anything appears wrong.

I think my heart just skipped a beat.

From today I am quoting that paragraph in the standard, killer contract that I send out with every project. Maybe you will be doing the same?

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