The Web Standard Project’s, recent Browser Upgrade Campaign is both a liberating and all too entangled dilemma for this web designer. I agree that the solution makes perfect sense for computer users and also “seems obvious in hindsight.” But what about those who are not computer users to begin with?
Go to the official Browser Upgrade redirect page and there is absolutely no mentioning of WebTV. Having a small but important majority of WebTV users in my own audience (Hi, mom), I have always struggled with how to make my pages read across the WebTV browser (if you want to call it that), which lacks in proper standards and any overall aesthetic appeal. But the upgrade campaign leaves that segment of my audience with no option to upgrade, no option to standardize.
QuickTime St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, I can hardly blame anyone for not wanting to use an occasionally frustrating, if not maddening, device such as a computer. Add in the numerous strands of computer viruses that exist today and something like WebTV or Sega Dreamcast seems like a workable alternative for web browsing, if not a viable platform of choice.
So without any other options for those users, the only option for me is either to neglect and ignore them, or continue to do things the way I’ve always done them, hence making two entrances to my webpage.
Or I can start to look at other methods. After all, there’s Flash, which has been around forever, and the new WAP protocol. Perhaps two viable ways to get information to gel with near absolute certainty that may or may not help designers give more options to their viewers. But I’m not sure how that all fits into the scope of non-computer devices like WebTV just yet, much less the next internet device to come down the pike in two months.
I guess I’ll have to give that some more thought before I make any commitments to say to hell with bad browsers. I’m not disheartened with the Web Standards guys at all and I hope I don’t come off that way. I’m just perplexed at how to reach a workable solution for all that will stay consistent over time.